Indian power minister left in the dark

NEW DELHI • India's power minister was left red-faced yesterday after the electricity went out during a press conference in New Delhi held to highlight the country's achievements in reducing power cuts.

A video showing minister Piyush Goyal grinning sheepishly after the lights went out, leaving reporters in the dark for several seconds, quickly went viral on Indian social media.

During the press conference, Mr Goyal told reporters that India had achieved a "power surplus from chronic power shortage".

He was in the middle of talking about his ministry's achievements in power generation and capacity, contained in the booklet Ujwal Bharat (Radiant India) Two Years when he was interrupted by a power outage, according to the Wall Street Journal.

"Irony of ironies: Power cut during Power Minister Piyush Goyal's presser," Twitter user Aashna Harjani posted.

With Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government set to mark two years in office on May 26, several ministries have held press conferences in recent days to talk about their achievements.

Mr Goyal quickly recovered from his initial embarrassment to joke with journalists.

"My wife tells me the power should go out once at every (press conference) that I hold so you can be sure I have miles to go before I rest and sleep," he said.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 21, 2016, with the headline 'Indian power minister left in the dark'. Print Edition | Subscribe