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Modi's push for Hindi draws criticism from India's regional parties

Published on Jun 20, 2014 7:09 PM
Indian Prime Minister-Elect, Narendra Modi gestures during the announcement of Gujarat's first woman chief minister, Anandiben Patel during a meeting at the Town Hall in Gandhinagar, some 30 kms from Ahmedabad on May 21, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

NEW DELHI (AFP) - Regional parties on Friday criticised moves by India's new nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi to promote Hindi as the government's official language on social media, demanding English be used instead.

The right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party government, which swept to power in May, instructed all ministries and public offices to use Hindi in its official communication on social media last month.

But Ms Jayalalithaa Jayaram, chief minister of southern Tamil Nadu state and whose party is the third-largest in parliament, wrote to Mr Modi on Friday asking him to make English the official language.

"(Push for Hindi) is a highly sensitive issue and causes disquiet to the people of Tamil Nadu," wrote Ms Jayalalithaa, a day after her local rival M. Karunanidhi called the directive an "imposition".

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