New Delhi: There’s still two days to go before Lok Sabha election results are out Thursday, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi appears to be so confident of getting a second term that his officials have already scheduled an episode of his monthly radio address Mann Ki Baat on 2 June.
Highly-placed sources in the government told ThePrint that Mann Ki Baat version 2 will now be aired on the first Sunday of every month, if Modi returns to power this week. The radio programme was earlier broadcast on the last Sunday of the month.
“The show has been scheduled tentatively for 2 June, unless there is a drastic change in plans after the election results,” a senior government official said.
Mann Ki Baat — broadcast on the entire All India Radio network — is one of Modi’s biggest mass outreach platforms. It was launched in October 2014, five months after the BJP-led government came to power at the centre. It is also broadcast on private radio channels, is visually adapted by Doordarshan and other private television news channels, and live streamed for the global audience
Modi regularly held the radio show every month since it started, even during state elections, after taking permission from the Election Commission. The show was, however, not held during the general elections, with the last episode being broadcast on 24 February.
New elements to be introduced
Sources in the information and broadcasting ministry said the new version of Mann Ki Baat will be more “interactive” than its earlier version and will feature “newer elements”.
“The change in the format of the programme is still being deliberated on, and may not be possible in the first episode at such short notice. But the programme will be made more interactive in the episodes to follow,” another senior official said.
Earlier, Mann Ki Baat didn’t feature any live interaction from the audience, although the PM read out letters sent to him. Sometimes, pre-recorded voice messages from the audience were played out, to which he would repsond.
ThePrint had earlier reported that the PMO is actively thinking of revamping the programme in order to quell the criticism that it is a one-way talk show and to increase its popularity, which had dwindled in the last few years.