AS many Indians worry about the threat of tough measures in their new government’s first Budget next week, a Facebook post suggesting the finance minister is pondering less earthly matters quickly roused anger yesterday.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, a key confidante of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, published a message celebrating “World UFO Day” on his Facebook page, which is one of the main forums where he publishes official information.
“This day is celebrated to raise awareness about the existence of UFO’s (sic) and with that intelligent beings from outer space,” said the post, which was followed by Jaitley’s name and a depiction of a flying saucer in a wheat field.
World UFO Day is dedicated to proving the existence of unidentified flying objects, according to the website worldufoday.com.
The post sparked a storm of criticism among his followers and was deleted after a few hours.
“Sir instead of talking on outer space, please confine your discussion on the hardship faced by common men,” a Facebook user called Ganesh Choudhary said.
“People are confused and scared about the undefined miseries which are going to be heaped upon them in the names of restoring fiscal health.”
Officials in the finance ministry said they had seen the post and advised the minister’s personal media team to be more careful about what was published on Facebook. Jaitley’s personal staff later deleted the post. – Reuters