Publicity dept denied Facebook Live to avoid controversy?delhi Updated: Jul 11, 2017 17:29 IST
The Aam Aadmi Party on Wednesday defended deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia’s direction for ‘action’ against Directorate of Information and Publicity director Jayadev Sarangi.(Burhaan Kinu/HT File Photo)
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Wednesday defended deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia’s direction for ‘action’ against Directorate of Information and Publicity (DIP) director Jayadev Sarangi.
Sisodia had on Monday written to chief secretary MM Kutty asking him to initiate proceedings against Sarangi for “dereliction of duty”, and replace him with an “officer who can perform” as he was “not been able to deliver on works assigned to the officer”.
In his direction, Sisodia cited three instances over the past few days when Sarangi failed to implement his direction, including the order to organise a Facebook Live with traders on GST on June 1 or June 2.
However, sources in the information directorate, which is headed by Sisodia, said the department’s decision to deny holding Facebook Live was far more technical than “what was being described” by the government.
According to sources, the denial was backed by sound “procedural” technicalities, as they are averse of another situation that could lead to “controversy and a possible inquiry” as in the case of ‘Talk To AK’ programme last year, which is under CBI scanner now.
“If the Facebook Live required only a mobile camera and internet connection, why was a detailed plan made last year for the ‘Talk To AK’ programme and why was an agency required to implement it? Any Facebook Live of any government functionary needs to be properly advertised. That advertisement needs to be done as per the procedure,” a source said.
“Facebook Live does not require any open tender. However, advertisement on Facebook for such programme requires tender as there is no prescribed rates for advertisement on social media,” an official said, adding that the chief secretary was looking into the matter and the views of the department will be put forth as and when required.
Meanwhile, former AAP minister Kapil Mishra alleged Sarangi was being targetted by the AAP government as it was he who, in the line of duty, had issued notice to AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal for recovery of R 97 crore from the ruling party.
While phone calls and SMS to Sarangi did not yield any response, Delhi labour minister and AAP (Delhi) convener Gopal Rai defended the decision saying the minister was well within his rights to order action if the officers do not follow valid instructions “intentionally”.
“The Delhi government is not unique. Its functioning is similar to that of other governments, be it in the states or Centre. All governments have department of information and publicity to disseminate information. If a DIP officer is intentionally not ready to do even a FB Live, that too on an issue like GST, then the minister is entitled to take appropriate action,” Rai told reporters.