Amid the fear of an economic slowdown and perceptions of policy paralysis, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has been advised to be “more visible” by a section of the UPA managers.
The latest suggestion has come even as the PMO has recently appointed a new communications advisor and launched a Twitter account to contact more effectively with Indian youth.
Top government sources told HT that a prominent section of the UPA management feels that PM should personally become more visible on the media as that may help the government boost its image and emphasise the fact that the Prime Minister is leading from the front.
One of the suggestions given to Singh is to travel more to tribal-dominated and backward areas. PM’s visit, it is argued, will highlight the social sector initiatives of the UPA governnment and its achievements.
The need for the Prime Minister to be more visible also emerges from the feeling in the government that it needs to connect with the middle-class population in a stronger way. The Congress brass believes that in 2009, the middle class voters had strongly backed the party and retained the coalition in power. As Singh is perceived as one of most favourite political icon of the educated middle class of India, the UPA management feels that an enhanced visibility of PM in action would send a strong, positive message.
Last year, the PM had decided to appear before the media frequently and two news conferences were held in quick succession. During the recent assembly polls. Singh had traveled to four states—UP, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Manipur. But for some of his cabinet colleagues, there is a need for more of Manmohan Singh.