On every weekday noon, seven senior Union ministers will meet under the auspices of the information and broadcasting ministry to chart out the strategy of dealing with the media.
“For quite sometime, the government’s inept handling of the media had been a subject of discourse in the top government echelons and the Congress party high command. It took the Anna Hazare episode to kickstart the entire process resulting in formulation of the regular briefing framework for the media by senior ministers,” admits a government official in the know of things referring to varying statements by various ministers leading to a lot of confusion on what the government stand and policy was.
“There will be a formal approach of media-handling now. Before this, the right hand did not know what the left hand was doing.”
Public Accounts Committee chairman Murli Manohar Joshi’s diatribe against the government on the spectrum issue further hastened the process.
The quick deliberations will include decisions on whether there is any need of a media briefing that very day, what is to be the central issue, what stand to take, and who will address the media.
This media-handling framework that took off Wednesday, has been devised and cleared at the highest political levels.
The seven-member group of savvy and articulate ministers comprises home minister P Chidambaram, information and broadcasting minister Ambika Soni, human resource development minister Kapil Sibal, minister of state in the PMO V Narayanswamy, parliamentary affairs minister Pawan Bansal, health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, and water resources minister Salman Khursheed.