Too often, reporters complain about their stories not getting the notice they deserve or for being ignored by the powers that be. It’s a completely different ballgame, however, when the minister in-charge of the department one writes about, ends up responding to you directly on social media and not only rubbishes the story but also trolls you as being "agenda driven".

This is what transpired on Twitter on Monday morning when Anubhuti Vishnoi, an Economic Times journalist, tweeted her story about the Minister of Human Resource Development Smriti Irani proposed close to 5,100 admissions to Kendriya Vidyalayas in the current academic year. The number stands in contrast to her predecessor’s tally which was less than 25% of the current number.

The minister responded soon thereafter.

The article said that as per an official who attended the meeting, the Kendriya Vidyalaya administration was looking into why only 3,000 of the 5,000-odd admissions recommended by the minister materialised.

The paper editorialised that the minister's recommendation bonanza were undermining the prime minister's "promise of striking at the roots of corruption" in an "ET View" titled Expel Ad Hocism From Schools, and that her action only served to promote a culture of patronage.

"Irani could well argue that she was trying to ensure more children from disadvantaged backgrounds find a place in the Kendriya Vidyalayas," the newspaper said. "But for that she should set up a system that will enable the most disadvantaged the same opportunity as their more affluent counterparts. Without a proper system, all we have is ad hocism, something India can do less of, not more."

The reporter pointed out that the ministry's response was solicited but not given.

But the minister chose to get more and more personal.

"Two lines of ours and the rest of the version would be yours," the minister responded, insinuating that it did not matter what the ministry said as the reporting would in any case be biased. And that it didn't matter even if the reporter did not show any respect.

But the reporter remained respectful and spelt it out once again that simply no response had  been forthcoming, and that in case the ministry had answered her queries, regardless of length, it would have been published.

When others also questioned her about the ministry not responding, Irani merely repeated that the reporting would in any case have been biased.

Irani claimed that all the records of admissions were on file.

As the minister accused the journalist, others too stepped in to point out that Irani and her ministry did not respond to questions,

In her defence Irani said that among those recommended by her were also students who came in with the references of Congress leaders.

While many supported Irani, here's a selection of responses joining issue with Irani's tweets: