Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani on Monday engaged in a twitter war with a financial daily journalist whose news report claimed that the minister had recommended over 5,000 admissions in Kendriya Vidyalaya schools in the current academic year.
In a post on twitter, the HRD minister gave vent to her anger over the report, saying "I recognise ur source-based agenda and have made public my contempt for it."
The reporter had claimed that Irani had recommended over 5,000 requests for admission to the Central government-run Kendriya Vidyalaya chain of schools, a more than four-fold jump from quota levels of her predecessors.
In another tweet, the minister said, "All admissions are recorded as per requests from MPs across parties plus Below Poverty Line families. Your source based lie as usual ignores facts," she said referring to the report.
The reporter responded to Irani saying that with utmost respect to her as a minister, she had been requesting for the ministry's view and version since Friday, but none had come.
Irani was quick to post her rejoinder. "2 line humari aur baaki ka version aapka. And by the way respect aap na bhi kare to koi farak nai padta." (Two lines by us and the rest of version, all yours. And by the way, even if you don't respect, it does not make a difference.)
The twitter war drew instant responses one being,"While in a spot, shoot the messenger...not the first time". The minister responded, saying, "Not in a spot Sir. As Chairperson of the board, I followed procedure."
Irani alleged that this was not the first time the reporter had "followed an agenda".
There was another comment, from another journalist saying, "what level has this government stooped to. Such a comment coming from a minister".
The minister shot back, "Sir it seems I have lost my right n freedom to express myself. Should my freedom of speech be subject to ur prior approval?"
The comments by both the minister and others found themselves widely circulating on the social networking site as there were scores of retweets and likes.
Another journalist quipped if anybody does a story even mildly critical of the minister, it is "agenda" driven reporting!
Irani retorted, "criticise all u want, don't lie."