Finance minister’s UFO post on Facebook angers ‘common men’

Jul 03 2014, 08:13 IST
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SummaryWith many Indians worrying about the threat of tough measures in their new government’s first budget next week, a Facebook post suggesting the finance minister might be pondering less earthly matters quickly roused anger

With many Indians worrying about the threat of tough measures in their new government’s first budget next week, a Facebook post suggesting the finance minister might be pondering less earthly matters quickly roused anger on Wednesday.

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 in which 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 included a depiction of a flying saucer in a wheat field.

World UFO Day is a day dedicated to spotting and proving the existence of Unidentified Flying Objects. It was first celebrated in 2001, according to the website worldofuday.com.

A member of Jaitley’s personal staff, who declined to be named, confirmed that their team had posted the message about World UFO Day and said the account had not been hacked. The post was deleted half an hour after Reuters contacted the team.

The post sparked a storm of criticism among his followers and was deleted after a few hours.

“Sir FM, today we the people of India are celebrating the price hike day instead of UFO day,” a Facebook user called V Bhushan Bhushansharma said in a comment on Jaitley's post, referring to India's recent moves to raise rail fares and fuel prices.

Modi swept to power in May with a vow to revive India's economy after the longest spell of growth below 5 %.

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