The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government under Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has its priorities set even when a burgeoning second wave of the coronavirus pandemic has extended the lockdown in Maharashtra till June 1. According to news reports, the MVA government has hired a social media team to look after Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar’s online footprint and boost his image by allocating a staggering sum of Rs 6 crore.
As per the order, the external agency will handle Ajit Pawar’s Twitter, Facebook, blogger, YouTube and Instagram accounts. The order has also mentioned the handling of Soundcloud, a WhatsApp bulletin, Telegram channel and SMS. The main task of the agency will be to ensure that the public is informed of the decisions taken by Pawar, who holds the finance and planning portfolio.
India is fighting covid 2nd wave.
Meanwhile in Maharashtra..
⛔Tender floated to redevelop MLA complex
⛔State govt G.O. mentioning Rs~6 crore to be spent to maintain Dy CM Ajit Pawar Ji's various social media accounts
Is it Maha Vikas Aghadi,
'Maha Vinash Aghadi' ?
— Kuljeet Singh Chahal (@kuljeetschahal) May 13, 2021
Despite having Directorate General of Information and Public Relations with a total staff of nearly 1,200 and an annual budget of Rs 150 crore, the Uddhav Thackeray administration thought it would be wise to hire a private, external agency.
According to the order issued, the Maharashtra government argued that the hiring of an external agency became necessary as the DGIPR lacked the professional and technical competence to deal with social media. Thus, it was felt that it would be appropriate if an external agency were hired for the purpose. However, the external agency will be appointed in consultation with the deputy chief minister’s secretariat and DGIPR itself.
If Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal thought no other leader or political party could rival him in splurging money on PR and other media activities then sadly he was mistaken as the Uddhav Thackeray administration has made it their mission to snatch the honours from the AAP leader.
BJP took it as an opportunity to target MVA and Ram Kadam, the BJP MLA from Ghatkopar West trained his guns on Uddhav for showing extreme negligence.
“People have died in the pandemic due to the negligence of the Maharashtra government. On one hand, the government is saying that they don’t have enough money to purchase vaccines and on the other hand, to pat their backs on social media a team is hired for the deputy chief minister at a budget of Rs 6 crore,” Kadam was quoted as saying by India Today.
Uddhav Thackeray was one of the 12 opposition members that wrote a letter to PM Narendra Modi asking for free vaccination across the state and country. On one hand, Uddhav claims his government does not have any money, whilst on a similar tangent, he lavishly spends Rs 6 crore to boost the image of a yesteryear politician.
The centre has allowed the states to procure vaccines from the manufacturers directly under phase 3 of the national vaccination program. Only if Uddhav was better prepared, he would have spent the aforementioned PR money on purchasing the vaccines for the people of Maharashtra.