There is no stopping “Minister Twitter” now. The Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor has been ‘tweeting’ a lot lately, so much so that ministers abroad have started calling him “Minister Twitter”.
The proofs are the Minister’s tweets. On June 24, Tharoor tweeted, “In Dubai my old friend Sheikha Lubna, UAE Foreign Trade Minister, hosted a friendly lunch at which she greeted me as “Minister Twitter”.
The number of people following Tharoor, 53, on Twitter, has been growing with each passing day—it stood at 13,351 on July 8.
Tharoor, who served as the UN Under-Secretary General at the United Nations tweets on a variety of subjects ranging from his work in the MEA to his views on the selection of the Indian cricket team to his social life and is, of course, “sorry” when work doesn’t permit him to tweet.
To those who object to his new habit, Tharoor clarified on June 8, “Final word to all the controversialists about my twittering: I will only say on twitter what I can say in public. So chill....”
“Spoke my first words in Parl today. Alas, they were formulaic, “I beg to lay papers on the table of the House”. One has to start somewhere!” his post on Wednesday read.
Giving an insight into the pressures of handling the Haj Division in the MEA, he tweeted on July 2, “Besieged by more and more requests for Haj quotas, since as MoS I administer the ltd nbr of places offered to Indian pilgrims by Saudi Govt.”
“I get 20 convincing appeals a day from v influential pols for specl considern of their claims to extra Haj places for their own lists,” said another tweet the same day.
“Success in politics comes fm making difficult choices amongst competing demands and yet satisfying more ppl than u alienate. Not sure I can!” follows another.
The minister tries to update those following him on his day’s work. “Off to Yemen via Dubai, for conf of Indian Ocean rim countries.”
Tharoor’s humour is intact. “My OSD Jacob (new to govt), “No one tells me their names here. Its all, I’m AS/AD, or JS/WANA, or SS/PD, who are u?” his reply, “I’m JA/COB!” Another says, “Snacks are served during such formal meetings. Aides munch (and write notes) while ministers talk!”