It’s not every day you get to see a political party’s leader praising the work of a rival party. It’s even more rare to see an AAP member lauding a BJP minister. But, that’s exactly what happened when renowned AAP member Ankit Lal took to Twitter to appreciate Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu. It all started with a tweet sent out by Ankit Lal, in which he had tagged Suresh Prabhu, bringing the latter’s attention to the fact that a Mumbai-Delhi August Kranti has less food in its pantry. He asked Prabhu what kind of Rajdhani has insufficient food stocked up and said that he was awaiting a response from the minister. Ankit Lal is the Head, IT and Innovation for Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP. He is also the party’s media in-charge for overseas.
Known to be prompt in replying to public complaints, Suresh Prabhu thanked Ankit Lal for his feedback and promised that appropriate action would be taken. “Thanks for your feedback @AnkitLal. Appropriate action will be taken.Our team is on job. Help them to serve you better,” Prabhu tweeted. IRCTC, the Indian Railways division responsible for catering in trains had tweeted to Ankit Lal, “@AnkitLal @sureshpprabhu 9004082768 Manish Gupta, trn supervisor is srchng for you. Pls cl or shr ur pnr/seat/coach no.”
— IRCTC Ltd. (@IRCTC_Ltd) 17 October 2016
— Ankit Lal (@AnkitLal) 17 October 2016
Glad to know that.We work round the clock and strive hard to take care of all our travellers https://t.co/gK93sbHt5j
— Suresh Prabhu (@sureshpprabhu) 17 October 2016
Acknowleding the help received from the IRCTC supervisor, Ankit Lal then tweeted, “.@sureshpprabhu received the help from @IRCTC_Ltd supervisor Manish Gupta. He was very courteous and sorted out the issue. Appreciate it.” Thanking him for his praise, Prabhu replied, “Glad to know that.We work round the clock and strive hard to take care of all our travellers.”
This is not the first time that Suresh Prabhu has garnered praise from his political rivals for the way Indian Railways handles complaints on social media. A few months ago a man named Ayanavo Lahiri had tweeted to Prabhu about two senior citizens who had forgotten their ID cards and were travelling for the funeral of their sister. The senior citizens had been worried whether the ticket checker would allow them to continue their journey or not. Lahiri’s tweet had been retweeted by Congress leader Ajay Maken. Within a short duration, the @RailMinIndia tweeted to Ajay Maken that the issue was being forwarded to the concerned officer. A happy Maken had then tweeted, “Thanks-Aprompt action! .@RailMinIndia @LalitAg82382458 @sureshpprabhu And good use of Twitter too! Credit to co-passenger @AyanavoLahiri.”
On an average 2.3 crore passengers travel through the Railways daily, and it receives about 6,500 tweets in a day, which are processed, 24/7 from a centrally managed cell. This cell classifies tweets as critical, non-critical, suggestions and others, and opens a ticket for every actionable tweet. The critical tweets are communicated via SMS or phone calls and each ticket is monitored at various stages in the system until the issue is resolved.