Prime Minister Narendra Modi today confirmed the re-activation of the "Mann Ki Baat" toll-free number and said he was "looking forward to a great interaction" when his nationwide radio programme returns to the airwaves on June 30. The programme, started by the Prime Minister during his first term in office, was discontinued during the Lok Sabha elections.
"For the #MannKiBaat this month, dial the toll-free number 1800-11-7800 to record your message. You could also write on the MyGov Open Forum and pen your inputs. Looking forward to a great interaction," PM Modi said in a tweet posted on his official Twitter account.
The number will be active from June 11 to June 26.
PM Modi, who had signed off the last episode of the programme in February ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, asked everyone to share their thoughts on themes and issues that matter to the public.
The opposition Congress has been a lead critic of the programme, accusing PM Modi of only speaking his mind and not listening to people.
During campaigning for the election Congress chief Rahul Gandhi attacked PM Modi over his radio programme, declaring that he would not speak his "Mann Ki Baat" but instead listen to difficulties faced by people across the country.
The programme was also referenced by Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav in May, after PM Modi attended his first press conference in the country since becoming Prime Minister in 2014. The former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister mocked PM Modi for a presser that seemed "like last episode of Mann Ki Baat aired on TV instead of radio".
The 10-digit toll-free number had been set up in September 2015 to help the Prime Minister expand his reach and, according to the Press Information Bureau, "further broad-base the opportunity for citizens from non-internet enabled areas to submit ideas and suggestions for 'Mann Ki Baat'".
The Prime Minister led his BJP to a spectacular win in the election. The BJP won 303 seats on its own, 352 with its NDA allies, to give PM Modi a second consecutive term in office.
"Mann Ki Baat" is broadcast on the last Sunday of the month.
With inputs from PTI, ANI