KS Dhatwalia, the Additional Director General of PIB in MHA, was once again in news on Sunday after his invitation to media persons for Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s election rally raised plenty of eyebrows.
The senior civil servant texted the media invite through mobile text, which read, “Shri Rajnath Singh will address meetings in Uttarakhand today, 05 February, at Badshahpur, Haridwar Rural at 3.30 PM at Bahadrabad. FYIP. KS Dhatwalia. ADG PIB.”
The invite left several media representatives stumped as they found it in violation of election code of conduct.
A serving bureaucrat is not expected to work to promote the election campaign of the ruling political party as the action severely undermines of integrity of fair election process thereby causing disadvantages for the rival parties.
When contacted, Dhatwalia, told Janta Ka Reporter that he had sent the media invite in his personal capacity after some journalists contacted him to inquire about Singh’s movement.
He said, “Few journalists contacted me to inquire about the programme to which I replied to in a personal group. It was not at all an official message. I am well aware of my responsibilities.”
This is not the first time Dhatwalia has been accused of throwing the service rules out of the window while allegedly serving as a political representative for the ruling party.
In January, journalists were left shocked to see the invite from him for an RSS event.
The function in question was the event organised by the Muslim Rashtriya Manch belonging to the RSS. The outfit, loosely termed as the Muslim wing of the RSS is headed by the senior Sangh functionary Indresh Kumar.
Promoting political event is not one of the core responsibilities of the PIB.
On its website, the PIB extensively dwells upon its roles and functions but nowhere does the website states promoting the events organised by either the ruling party or its ideological mentor as one of its defined duties.
The PIB’s website states, “…In any case, there is a crying need for an agency to inform and interpret the policies and actions of the Government to the people who are the ultimate masters. In the absence of a better agency, the Press Information Bureau (PIB), is the best suited to perform that task through the media. One cannot visualise a better link than the PIB between the Government and the media.”