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No English for Fadnavis: Maharashtra CM has a penchant for local languages

When Devendra Fadnavis was asked to comment in English, he declined, saying he spoke the language only when the audience did not understand Marathi or Hindi, or when he travelled abroad

Business Standard 

A bit of singing & dancing in Maharashta CM's bungalow
Devendra Fadnavis

Media connect

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath, after expanding his cabinet, has decided to broaden the scope of the media connect of his two-and-a-half-year-old government. While two cabinet ministers Shrikant Sharma and Sidharth Nath Singh were designated official spokespersons of the government after the BJP came to power in UP in March 2017, the chief minister feels the need to empanel more spokespersons to keep the official version of the government's viewpoint in the media, in view of the volume of fake news circulating all around. The new media panel includes the two deputy chief ministers, Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma, apart from two other ministers Mahendra Singh and Anil Rajbhar, who would field media queries ahead of the Assembly polls in 2022.

Colonial hangover

The government, run by the Congress, has sought suggestions from public intellectuals and common people to help it come up with sobriquets for the post of “collector”. Public Relations Minister P C Sharma recently said the term collector gained currency during British rule and was used for a person who used to collect revenue for the erstwhile British rulers. Now that collectors’ work is different, the designation has become redundant, he said. Sources in the government said most officers agreed that the term “district administrator” was more appropriate. In December last year, just after assuming office, Chief Minister Kamal Nath had declared that he wanted to change the designation because it was a colonial hangover.

No English for Fadnavis

Maharashtra Chief Minister (pictured) has a penchant for local languages. At a media gathering,

after the announcement of the Assembly election results, which pointed at a Bharatiya Janata Party victory, Fadnavis began speaking in Marathi to local reporters. He then switched to Hindi and remarked the Hindi channels also needed to survive. However, later when he was asked to comment in English, he declined, saying he spoke the language only when the audience did not understand Marathi or Hindi, or when he travelled abroad.

First Published: Thu, October 24 2019. 20:24 IST
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