After securing a clear majority in the Lok Sabha election, Modi took over the reins of the country in May last year. In accordance with convention, it was expected that his picture of the prescribed size would be displayed in all government offices within a reasonable period, but it took more than a year for his photographs to be released.
“We were expecting an official photograph of the PM from the PMO; however, there was inordinate delay,” a senior bureaucrat said. “Now we have received a copy, it has been reprinted at the state government central printing press and released to all the government offices.”
It was not the first time that a picture of the PM or President was released after a great delay; it appears the practice has become the rule rather than the exception.
When Pranab Mukherjee became the new occupant of Rashtrapati Bhavan in July 2012, there was a delay of more than a year in the release of his photograph.
“We had no option but to wait for the release of the photograph of the President from Rashtrapati Bhavan,” the bureaucrat said.
When Pratibha Patil was elected President in 2007, again there was a lot of delay in releasing her photograph. Her official photograph was released by the Rashtrapati Bhavan after almost a year-and-a-half. When an official picture was finally released, it came to light that there was something wrong in it, prompting Rashtrapati Bhavan to withdraw it and later release a new picture.
Convention dictates that the photographs of the President and Prime Minister be displayed at Raj Bhavan, the CM’s office, the cabins of all cabinet members and the heads of all departments.