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Haryana governor not pleased with publicity, seeks parity with CM

punjab Updated: Nov 06, 2015 09:57 IST
Navneet Sharma
Kaptan Singh Solanki

Haryana governor Kaptan Singh Solanki.(HT PHOTO)

Haryana governor Kaptan Singh Solanki does not seem pleased with his publicity and wants coverage on a par with chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar and his cabinet colleagues.

In a letter to the state government last month, Neelam P Kasni, secretary to the governor, highlighted Solanki’s concern about “insufficient” media coverage of the functions he chaired.

The governor wants all his events covered in the print and electronic media, and the video CDs of each secured for the Raj Bhawan record.

Letter to state govt

“He desires that, henceforth, all these arrangements be made by the information and public relations department, as is done in the case of the CM and other ministers,” reads the letter.

Solanki, who took over as the Haryana governor in July 2014, was later sworn in Punjab governor in January, in which capacity, he is also ex-officio administrator of the Union Territory of Chandigarh. On an average, he attends at least two programmes a day, most of these in Haryana or Chandigarh. While the Haryana government has had a public relations officer (PRO) - a deputy-director-rank officer mans the post currently - at the governor’s house, for many years there is a feeling in Raj Bhawan that the officer lacks the logistic support required for adequate coverage of the governor’s functions.

Govt’s large public relations set-up

The state government has a large public relations set-up, with nearly 100 PROs, photographers and videographers at the state headquarters, besides in Delhi and all 21 districts.

While there is a full-fledged team along with two media advisers in Delhi and Chandigarh for the chief minister’s programmes, a PRO each is attached with ministers and chief parliamentary secretaries.

The ministers in the present government are allowed an additional PR hand each. In the previous regime, the CM had three media advisers and four media coordinators, whereas some ministers depended on “trusted aides” instead of government machinery for publicity.