In an unprecedented move, Prime Minister Modi announced that the proceedings of the Finance Ministry will henceforth be live-streamed and live-telecast in order to keep Finance Minister Arun Jaitley away from TV cameras improve transparency.
While the government’s spokespersons insist that transparency is the reason, a highly placed source told us this on condition of anonymity: “You see, he’s always near a TV camera. A few days back he was clarifying on Aamir Khan’s remarks, then he gave away some awards, then he spoke to Reuters, and so on and so forth, not to mention the quick trips to the NDTV studio for a chat on pretty much anything under the sun. So our Prime Minister decided to investigate.”
The source then continued, “After getting Jaitley to allocate 100 crores for an investigation, the PM’s investigating team came to a conclusion that the Finance Minister, who is also the I&B Minister, spends a lot of time before TV cameras to pontificate on how GOI can improve the economy improve the image of the government. Hence, in order to strike a balance between having him in front of the camera and having him in his office, the team decided this would be an efficient method.”
While BJP leader Subramanian Swamy reacted to this announcement with his trademark guffaw, six BJP spokespersons were found explaining the announcement with thirteen different and contradictory reasons.
Speaking from a farmer’s kitchen, Rahul Gandhi accused this move of being pro-corporate, as the livestream will be in HD, and will benefit only MNCs and not poor farmers as they cannot afford internet that is fast enough to view the telecast without buffering delays. He also alleged that the Finance Minister could run to a TV studio for a quick interview during the buffering delays, thus cheating those poor farmers who try to watch the proceedings.
Meanwhile, an NDTV OB van and Barkha Dutt were seen driving from their TV studios to South Block.