Haryana Congress leaders on Thursday took on Manohar Lal Khattar-led Haryana government over alleged removal of actor Parineeti Chopra from the post of Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao campaign’s state brand ambassador. Parineeti, who is from Haryana’s Ambala town, had recently condemned police action against students in Delhi.
However, the Haryana government is tight-lipped over the issue. Its officers have neither confirmed Parineeti’s removal nor admitted that she is still holding the assignment. However, official sources hinted that no formal order has been issued for her removal.
“You can’t suppress their voice by removing her from brand ambassador,” senior Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted Thursday. Haryana Congress president and Rajya Sabha MP Kumari Selja tweeted, “With such low level tactics, the BJP can’t suppress the voice of our daughters.”
However, state BJP spokesperson Raman Malik said that the appointment or removal for a particular welfare scheme is prerogative of the government. “Brand ambassador is not a permanent assignment. It is possible that the Gandhi family is the Congress’s perpetual brand ambassador. (Those who are leveling allegations) are unemployed people of Congress who don’t have any work),” Malik added.
A media report earlier had quoted Haryana CM’s Advisor on Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao campaign, Yogender Malik, as saying that “as per my information, Parineeti Chopra is no longer our brand ambassador”. When contacted by The Indian Express Thursday, Malik just said, “She participated in just one function in Gurgaon in July 2015 when the government had announced her nomination for the responsibility of Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao campaign brand ambassador.”
Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Rajiv Arora told The Indian Express that the matter relates to Haryana Women and Child Development Department. Department’s director Manoj Kumar said that she was appointed in 2015 but “I don’t know for how long she continued”. When asked about the procedure of removal from such posts, Kumar said that the government declares such decisions. “I don’t have any idea whether there is any notification (for her removal),” he added.
Former Media Advisor to Haryana Chief Minister, Rajiv Jain, said that the actor has not been much involved in the BJP government’s ‘save the girl child’ campaign. “But I don’t know whether she has been removed from her responsibility,” said Jain, whose wife Kavita Jain was Women and Child Development Minister during previous stint of the Manohar Lal Khattar-led BJP government.
Folllowing the Delhi Police action against the protesting students, Parineeti Chopra had tweeted, “It this is what’s gonna happen everytime a citizen expresses their view, forget #CAB, we should pass a bill and not call our country a democracy anymore! Beating up innocent human beings for speaking their mind? BARBARIC.”
The differences had surfaced in the state BJP government in 2015 when Parineeti was nominated as brand ambassador for the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao campaign as the Health Minister Anil Vij had publically expressed his displeasure over the move. “I do not have any information of anybody appointed brand ambassador of my department for ‘Beti Bachao’ programme,” Vij had tweeted then. In 2016, the government had included name of Parineeti Chopra in a committee which was formed to celebrate golden jubilee year of the state.
In August 2016, wrestler Sakshi Malik was also nominated as state’s brand ambassador of the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao campaign without removing Parineeti from the assignment. Another actor, Madhuri Dixit Nene, was appointed as national ambassador for the campaign in January 2015 when the Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched it campaign from Haryana’s Panipat.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines