1Manish Sisodia wanted to live-stream a discussion on GST
2.He planned to address concerns and questions of traders
3.Last year’s ‘Talk to AK’ campaign is facing a CBI inquiry
NEW DELHI: Manish Sisodia, the Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, could not hold a Facebook Live today as he was reportedly told by his government’s publicity department – which he heads – that an open bid is needed for its promotion.
Last week, Mr Sisodia had written to the Directorate of Information and Publicity that he wanted to live-stream a discussion on GST or Goods and Services Tax he had planned to address the concerns and questions of traders. He wanted it today, ahead of a GST council meeting of the centre and states tomorrow to discuss the mega tax reform set to debut in July.
The directorate’s secretary, Jaidev Sarangi, reportedly replied that this would require “global tendering”, which could take at least a month. In his response, he also referred to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)’s social media campaign “Talk to AK”, which is facing a CBI inquiry.
The department said it “lacked technical competence” for such a social media campaign and was compelled to deny the request.
“Talk to AK”, held last year as a direct interface between Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and the people of Delhi on social media, became controversial over allegations that the government hired a private consultant at a hefty fee for its promotion.
A furious Mr Sisodia has shot off a letter to the seniormost bureaucrat, Chief Secretary MM Kutty, complaining against Mr Sarangi and demanding his removal for “incompetence”.
“If in these times for a Facebook Live an officer takes one month then that officer is clearly incompetent and should be removed,” Mr Sisodia wrote.
The event, he said, could even be held with the help of a phone and it was the job of a publicity department to make sure that it reaches the widest possible audience and helps people direct their questions to Delhi’s Finance Minister.
He has now ordered a Facebook Live on Monday.