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Narendra Modi pulls up minister for gifts to journalists

Author: TNN
Publication: The Times of India
Date: September 13, 2014
URL: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Narendra-Modi-pulls-up-minister-for-gifts-to-journalists/articleshow/42387414.cms

He is supposed to be among those who enjoy the trust of Prime Minister Narendra Modi because of his familiarity with complex policy matters and the ways of big business. That the PM likes this young minister is borne out by the importance of the portfolio he handles.

 However, that could not buffer him against Modi's displeasure for having deviated from the policy discouraging distribution of freebies. The minister has handed over gifts to journalists covering his ministry. Although the gifts were rather inexpensive and would have been politically kosher in earlier times, they failed to pass muster with the PM who recently acknowledged being a "hard task master".

 Sources said the PM confronted the minister at the meeting of the Cabinet, rejected the explanation and made his displeasure known. "This is unacceptable," Modi is learnt to have said as he frowned upon the infringement of the "zero tolerance" policy he has laid down.

While others present felt awkward and wondered whether the minister should have been spared the embarrassment of being publicly confronted, sources surmised that this could be meant to send out the message that people's perceived proximity would not serve as immunity should they breach the red line.
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