Minister upset after photo mix-up on ads,Sheila says sorry

An ongoing function meant to celebrate the Sanskrit language is creating unexpected turmoil in the Delhi Cabinet.

Written by Ravi Bajpai | New Delhi | Published: January 6, 2012 2:28 am

An ongoing function meant to celebrate the Sanskrit language is creating unexpected turmoil in the Delhi Cabinet. Social Welfare Minister Kiran Walia’s office has sent a letter to Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit,conveying its dismay over Walia being “blacked out” of the publicity campaign for the function.

The government-funded Delhi Sanskrit Academy,which is partnering the event at Vigyan Bhawan,falls under the jurisdiction of Walia’s office.

Newspaper advertisements,published by the government on Wednesday to promote the 15th World Sanskrit Conference between January 5 and January 10,didn’t have Walia’s photograph — which is usually the unwritten norm for government functions. Instead,they carried the photographs of Dikshit and Walia’s Cabinet colleague,Labour Minister Ramakant Goswami.

The letter sent to Dikshit by Walia’s secretary stated the minister wasn’t even aware of the development,and was surprised when her acquaintances pointed it out to her,a senior government official said.

Dikshit told Newsline that she saw the advertisement before it was released for publishing,and had personally apologised to the minister after she received the letter from her office. “I somehow did not realise that her (Walia’s) photograph was missing. It was an oversight,probably because she was out of the country when the advertisement was put out,” Dikshit said.

The function is being organised by the Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan,which is under the Human Resource ministry,and participants from India and abroad are supposed to attend it.

While Walia refused to comment,the official told Newsline that the minister didn’t attend a pre-event function,inauguration of the Sanskrit Book Fair,on Wednesday evening.

“The newspaper advertisement clearly mentioned that Labour Minister Goswami will inaugurate the book fair. There was no mention of Kiran Walia having anything to do with the event.”

A government official said in the letter to Dikshit,Walia’s office pointed out that the government’s publicity arm — the Directorate of Information and Publicity — seemed to have missed using the minister’s photograph in the advertisement. “Walia’s office has requested such an oversight should not be repeated. The letter clearly mentions that advertisements about functions by agencies falling in the jurisdiction of the department must carry her photographs,” the official said.

The Chief Minister’s office on Thursday assured Walia that her complaint has been duly noted,and would be considered for compliance in the future,the official said.

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