PM to break silence, to meet editors today

Amid the image of a government under siege, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is set to break his silence. He will meet a group of senior editors of regional and national dailies on Wednesday and put forth his views.

Official sources said it could be the beginning of his media outreach and he is likely to interact with senior editors more frequently, even weekly, in future. This comes in the wake of many senior Congress leaders and ministers expressing views that the Prime Minister needs to speak out more often to address the concerns of the people.

Home Minister P Chidambaram had told the NDTV last Saturday, "Lots of people would like the PM to step up to the plate, so as to say, and speak more often. But that is the style of the person."

At the Idea Exchange programme of The Indian Express early this month, Union Minister Subodh Kant Sahay had made a similar point, saying that the government should have reached out to people shortly after the police crackdown on Ramdev's followers at Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi last month.

"The government's process of reaching out to people is slow because of which confusion arises.... From our side, we should have immediately told about our intention," he had said. "Somehow there was a mistake that we could not show our intention as to why we did it... On Sunday itself we should have come forth from our side," he had added.

"This entire drama by Ramdev and Anna Hazare is aimed at the country's middle class, which is actually the Prime Minister's constituency. If he speaks, it will carry conviction to the people," a Congress general secretary said.

The Prime Minister had his last interaction with electronic media editors last February and with print media editors last September.

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