The Delhi government’s Directorate of Information and Publicity had refused to organise Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia’s Facebook Live event on GST as the social media campaign for its publicity required an open tender.
Government sources said the DIP had not asked for an open tender to hold the deputy chief minister’s Facebook Live event but for carrying out a Facebook campaign for publicising it. It required a tender as there were no prescribed rates for such advertisements.
Two days ago, Sisodia had written to Chief Secretary M M Kutty to take action against DIP Director Jayadev Sarangi for not arranging the Facebook Live event with traders on the GST.
In the letter, Sisodia had said he was “aghast” when Sarangi asked for an open tender for organising such an event
The sources said the refusal was intended to avoid any probe in the future as the CBI had launched an investigation in connection with TalktoAK (Talk to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal) on the complaint of the Vigilance Department.
In the complaint it was alleged that a well-known public relations (PR) company was hired by the Delhi government to promote the TalktoAK event on social media for which a proposal of Rs 1.5 crore was made.
“There were two proposals of the VAT Department. One pertained to holding Facebook Live while the other was on advertisements on Facebook for publicising such a programme.
“Facebook Live does not require any open tender while the second one needs one as there is no prescribed rates for advertisements on social media,” the sources said.
They said as the DIP does not have any expertise in organising such events, it had sought some time to hold Facebook Live as the directorate did not have equipment for it.
However, a government official said, “The chief secretary is looking into the matter.”
Meanwhile, Delhi sacked minister Kapil Mishra today came out in support of Sarangi, claiming that the reason behind the efforts to remove him was his letter in March 30 to the Aam Aadmi Party for the recovery of Rs 97 crore on advertisements.
“Sarangi was in the DJB (Delhi Jal Board). He has clean image and was also against political misuse of government machinery,” Mishra tweeted.