New Delhi: Narendra Modi has come to be known as a prime minister who keeps the media at an arm's length. He speaks to the media when he wants and says only what he wants to say.
However, that changed on Saturday when the PM met journalists and editors over tea.
The occasion was 'Deepawali Milan', organised at the BJP headquarters at 11, Ashoka Road.
In attendance were party president Amit Shah, Union ministers Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj and Rajnath Singh, and over 500 editors and journalists.
The address to the journalists was brief but Prime Minister Modi highlighted the need to work together to achieve a Clean India, one of his pet initiatives.
He praised the media for highlighting stories relating to cleanliness, stressing some of the coverage may be anti-government but adding that will help wake up the authorities.
“Media is helping spread the Clean India message. Due to the media coverage on cleanliness, governments have been forced to wake up. This is service to the nation,” he stressed.
Telling journalists that “you have transformed your pen into broom,” Modi said, “The thinking earlier was that everything will be done by government. Now the thought is that we will all work together.”
“Of all the recent media coverage, I have not seen any report in which effort was not made to inspire people to strive for a clean India,” he said in praise of the media.
In his earlier part of the address, PM Modi stressed on the importance of the media.
“The media can play a much larger role in shaping the future of the country,” he opined.
The Prime Minister in his address also recalled his earlier relationship with the media.
“There was a time when I used to move chairs at the party office and used to freely interact with members of the press... I am (now) looking for ways to deepen my old ties with the fourth estate,” he said.
After addressing the gathering from the stage, PM Modi got down to personally interact with editors and journalists. He was happily seen posing for selfies with the media personnel.
The interaction over tea was followed by lunch.
The media outreach came just a day before the Prime Minister organises another tea party – this time for NDA allies.