PM joins Twitter, 10,000 followers and counting
New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has joined Twitter to capture the attention of young Indians and inform people about the work done by his office through 140 characters on the popular microblogging site. The account attracted 10,000 followers within hours of being set up.
"The Prime Minister's Office is now on Twitter @PMOIndia. Thank you for your support," Manmohan Singh's newly appointed communications advisor Pankaj Pachauri said on his own Twitter account.
Within hours of the account being opened late Monday, Manmohan Singh attracted nearly 10,000 followers with just three tweets till Tuesday afternoon. All the three were written Monday night.
The account refers to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) and it would be handled by his media team, PMO sources said.
With this Manmohan Singh has joined the elite club of world leaders on Twitter.
US President Barack Obama was among the first to use the micro-blogging service to communicate with his electorate in 2008. His Twitter account @BarackObama, is among the most followed of all world-leader accounts, with more than 12 million followers.
Among others on the Twitter include Australian prime minister @JuliaGillard, her New Zealand counterpart @JohnKeyPM, Israel's prime minister Benjamin @Netanyahu,
and UAE Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum.
The prime minister's opponents have been criticising him for maintaining a silence over burning issues and remaining inaccessible to the media.
A close aide said that the work done by his office was not being "reflected properly".
"The Twitter account may help in sending out the information to larger, particularly young, audiences," said the aide.
His first three tweets were about a function on bravery awards. This included his picture with the winners.
"You make all of us proud...PM tells young bravehearts," said his last tweet, which provided a link to his public speech at the bravery awards function.
PMO sources said the account was presently managed by his communication team but there was a possibility that Manmohan Singh would send out tweets personally.
The account, trending fast on the site, has already invited a barrage of reactions from people.
Said @rajennair: "Now our PM will speak through tweets, no one can blame him anymore of silence."
"The #PMOIndia twitter account is a brilliant attempt to tweet silence in 140 characters," said @RoflIndian.
Soumya Mukherjee @i1_2ramble commented: "So #PMOIndia is a brilliant example of ventriloquism if I am not wrong?".