Blurring the lines between party and government, the State Information Department recently issued press releases of the political rallies of Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav.The communiques contain speeches of the SP’s rallies held in Jhansi on January 11, Badaun on December 20 and Mainpuri on November 7.
When enquired, Principal Secretary (Information) Sada Kant admitted that the department should not have issued such press releases. “I will advise the Information Director to ask the subordinates not to issue press releases of political events.”
He, however, maintained that the Directorate officials may have covered the rallies as Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav was also present there. Akhilesh had used the dais of these rallies to announce various government projects worth several crores.
Sada Kant claimed that no orders from the top were issued to the department for the coverage of these rallies.
At SP’s rally in Jhansi, the CM laid the foundation stones of various projects worth Rs 1,802 crore that will come up at Jhansi, Lalitpur and Jalaun.
The press statement, issued by the state information department after the rally, mentioned that the CM addressed ‘Desh Bachao, Desh Banao’ rally at Rajkiya Inter College ground in Jhansi. It also said that the rally was addressed by former defence minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, other ministers, including Ram Govind Chaudhary and Balram Yadav, and party’s Rajya Sabha members Kiranmoy Nanda and Munawwar Saleem.
Earlier, after the Badaun rally, the department’s press release stated that “the CM was addressing a grand public meeting in Badaun today.” The communique also carried Mulayam’s speech that read: “Shri Yadav attacked other political parties and said that the public will teach a lesson to communal forces in the upcoming elections.”
Local MP and SP Lok Sabha candidate from Badaun Dharmendra Yadav was quoted in the press release as saying: “No stone will be left unturned for the prosperity and progress of Badaun.” The CM laid the foundation stone of Government Medical College and the press release said that Mulayam assured that the medical college will be completed in a year.
After the Mainpur rally on November 7, the department’s release said “the CM laid the foundation stone of 27 projects worth Rs 434 crore while addressing a grand public meeting in the presence of former defence minister Mulayam Singh Yadav”.