Mumbai: Maharashtra government has allotted nearly ₹6 crores for the handling of Deputy CM Ajit Pawar’s social media accounts, according to reports citing a government order.
An external agency will reportedly be hired to handle the accounts.
The order issued on Wednesday elaborated on the appointment of an external agency with a budget allocation of Rs 5.98 crore.
As per the order issued by RN Musley, Under Secretary in the General Administration Department for the year 2021-22, the agency will be responsible for ensuring that common citizens are made aware of the decisions taken by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar.
Criticising this decision BJP MLA Ram Kadam wrote on Twitter: Maharashtra Government is going to spend Rs 6 cr for social media accounts of Deputy CM Ajit Pawar. What is their priority? Those who claimed to not have money for vaccinations will now spend crores for their own praises”.
6 कोटी social media वर खर्चाचा आदेश रद्द करावा लागला
मात्र हा पैसा social media वर सरकारची वाह वाह करणार्या सिलेब्रिटीज ला जाणार होता ?
की कोणाकडे ? सरकारने ह्याचे उत्तर द्यावे
— Ram Kadam – राम कदम (@ramkadam) May 13, 2021
Aam Aadmi Party’s Mumbai unit has also tweeted against it by writing: “Maharashtra reeling under an economic health crisis, but cash-strapped Maha Vikas Aghadi sarkar can still waste 6 Crores of public money for building Deputy CM Ajit Pawar’s image!”
Maharashtra reeling under an economic & health crisis, but cash-strapped #MahaVikasAghadi sarkar can still waste 6 Crores of public money for building Deputy CM Ajit Pawar's image!#MVAvsMumbaikar #COVIDSecondWave pic.twitter.com/dPAwOn3q7J
— AAP Mumbai (@AAPMumbai) May 13, 2021
The order states that the DGIPR does not have the professional and technical capacity to handle social media, which is why an external agency is being given responsibility. This justification also occurs when the department has a staff of around 1,200 and is allocated an annual budget of Rs 150 crore.
It was learned that the external agency deputy CM would handle Twitter, Facebook, Blogger, YouTube and Instagram accounts.
It will be appointed in consultation with the Deputy Chief Minister, Secretariat, and the Directorate General of Information and Public Relations.
The agency must ensure that there is no duplication of messages originating from the CMO and DCM office. Earlier, the CMO appointed an external agency in July 2020 to handle its social media presence.