The Twitter debate sparked by Washington Post India bureau chief Annie Gowen, whose tweet hinted that PR firms working for the Modi government were trying to influence foreign media, was at its peak on Saturday afternoon.
Annie Gowen's tweet led to a major debate on whether the BJP-led government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi was wasting away the public funds to improve its image.
The revealation by the Washington Post journalist also led to the creation of a viral trend on Twitter -- #ModiMediaGate. "We have been contacted twice in recent weeks by private PR companies representing Indian govt. officials. Good use of govt funds? @PMOIndia," Annie Gowen Tweeted.
The tweet was followed by another on Saturday, in which she said: "Point being Modi govt doesn't need to hire fancy PR firms-they just need to make officials available in timely way @PMOIndia"
Coincidently, the entire debate raged on the same day as Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached out to journalists at a 'Diwali Milan' at the BJP headquarters in Delhi.
According to an Indian Express report, at the event, PM Modi went around freely shaking hands with the assembled journalists, some of whom took selfies with him.
#ModiMediaGate Twitter reactions
— Sujata Mehta (@sujatam1222) November 28, 2015
Sonika Thavare @sonikathavare1
Foreign press has been very crucial of Modi's #ModiMediaGate
Gopal agarwal @Gopalagarwal009
Modi Government still investing in PR shows how weak the Government has been addressing the issues #ModiMediaGate
So the money collected through hiked taxes and fares are used to buy media houses? #ModiMediaGate
A'all is well! @tomujibhusen
Now it's understood, where tax Rs33.46 on petrol is going, a part of,for GF like Ambani Adani, gappu circus n foreign media! #ModiMediaGate
Bhaskar Tejaswi @simplytrue123
Bhaskar Tejaswi Retweeted Annie Gowen
#ModiMediaGate Influencing international media through private firms.. improper if true @TimesNow @ndtv @abpnewstv
Akhil Joseph @Akhiel_Joe
Media Milan lunch to discuss the Marketing strategies for 2016.So new sensational news will be formed. #ModiMediaGate