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HindustanTimes Mon,21 Apr 2014

World

Tweeting amid crisis; the Bhattarai way
Utpal Parashar, Hindustan Times
Kathmandu, February 22, 2013
First Published: 13:44 IST(22/2/2013)
Last Updated: 13:47 IST(22/2/2013)

Nepal Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai has a new passion these days -- tweeting his views on the country’s ongoing crisis and other issues for benefit of journalists and fans.

The 58-year-old who could soon make way for a new government headed by Nepal’s incumbent Chief Justice is busy on Twitter, when he can spare time.

Bhattarai who started tweeting a month ago with the handle '@brb_laaldhwoj' and has over 17,600 followers is pushing for elections conducted by the CJ-led government as the way out of the nine-month old crisis.

“Doctrine of necessity must be exercised to resolve current problem. CJ must be assured,” he tweeted on Thursday evening trying to dispel Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi’s apprehensions on assuming the top post.

Although Nepal’s four major parties have agreed on handing over reins of government to Regmi to hold elections in June as the only way out of the crisis---the Chief Justice hasn’t agreed to the proposal yet.

The present crisis is not the only issue Bhattarai tweets about. Till date he has tweeted 86 times on topics ranging from violence against women, energy crisis and ways to fast-track development.

Urging followers to remain optimistic as the country goes through transition, the Prime Minister seeks “objective criticism”, but “no baseless mudslinging” and is quick to answer queries.

“Let’s use Twitter for discourse on national issues, like how to transform Nepal into a developed nation in 10 yrs (years),” he tweets.

Bhattarai follows only 25 users including Nepali journalists and writers. Among peers he follows Barack Obama and chief ministers of Indian states Bihar and Gujarat -- Nitish Kumar and Narendra Modi.

“The glass could be half full or half empty, according to your outlook. Remain optimistic, my friends,” Bhattarai tweeted on January 22 several days ahead of Modi’s “glass full” remarks in New Delhi.

The Maoist leader who’s heading a coalition for past one and half years wants to lead a single party majority government for five years “like in Bihar” and says people can shoot him if he doesn’t show results.


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