Twitter has officially handed over the handle @pmoindia to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office, putting to rest a controversy over the account after it was given up by the outgoing UPA government.
When former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh demitted office last week, his staff archived the contents on another Twitter account, leaving @pmoindia available to public. A teenager from Lucknow briefly held it before Twitter took it back from him.
The Bharatiya Janata Party had criticised Singh’s staff for the move, saying @pmoindia should have been passed on to Modi’s office as a national, digital asset.
On Tuesday, @pmoindia was back with its more than one million followers, verified and complete with a picture of Narendra Modi. A source with knowledge of the handover confirmed the completion of the formality.
The PM's handle caught attention after this strange tweet from the account: "I just activated @Tweet_Delete on my account to automatically delete my old tweets (http://is.gd/delete )!"
Though the tweet was subsequently deleted, it managed to catch the attention of many Twitter users.
Meanwhile, @PMOIndiaArchive, where the 1.24 million followers were 'archived' and "transported" by outgoing prime minister Manmohan Singh's office, has been replaced with '@PMOIndiaArchiv'. It remains unverified and has just about 360 followers.
(The new archive for PM Singh's tweets)
(@PMOIndiaArchive doesn't exist anymore)
An official statement had on Wednesday said the account, which was earlier renamed to @PMOIndiaArchive, will be handed over to the Team Modi.
"The Twitter account @PMOIndia has been secured by Twitter and they are assisting in the handover of the same to this office to be available to the incoming PMO administration along with its (existing) followers," it said.