Officers use social media to counter AAP narrative

The Twitter application is seen on a phone screen. (FILE)   | Photo Credit: REUTERS

Delhi’s bureaucrats and government employees have taken to social media this week to share their point of view, setting up new Twitter accounts in the wake of the alleged attack on Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash by Aam Aadmi Party MLAs at Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s house on Monday night.

Two new Twitter accounts - one of the Delhi Government Employees Association (@DelhiEmployees) and another of the IAS AGMUT (Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram and Union Territories cadre) Association (@IAS_Agmut) - were set up after the alleged assault on Mr. Prakash. In addition to their silent protests and representations to the Centre and Lieutenant-Governor, the officers are using these accounts to share audio recordings of alleged misbehaviour by MLAs and photos of their protests.

A representative of the joint forum of the IAS, DANICS and DASS cadre officers said the idea behind setting up the accounts was to counter “false information”. After the alleged attack and the arrest of two AAP MLAs, relations between the bureaucracy and the AAP government have been strained. The Chief Minister had on Friday said that officers had not been attending meetings, which had affected governance.

“The association and the forum felt the need to put forth their activities and point of view in the public domain in view of the possibilities of distorted views being circulated by some entities. And this [social media] is the fastest medium,” said the representative.

The @DelhiEmployees handle on Friday shared a phone call between a junior engineer of the South Delhi Municipal Corporation and someone who identified himself as “Dinesh Mohaniya, Sangam Vihar MLA”. The two men got into a heated exchange about the engineer’s visit to a house in Tughlabad Extension earlier in the week. The “misbehaviour continues”, the officers’ account wrote. Mr. Mohaniya hit back, tweeting at the officers that the recording was not of his voice, asking the association if they were “supporting illegal entrance of JE in a residence without any notice”.

On Saturday, both Twitter accounts shared photos of Delhi government school teachers as well as officers in other government officers protesting against the alleged attack on the Chief Secretary. The IAS AGMUT Association handle shared a speech of Sardar Patel in which he said he was “distressed” with a senior member of the political executive terming the “members of the service” as “enemies of the country”.

By Saturday evening, the AGMUT officers’ Twitter handle itself became another point of friction between the officers and the AAP. Roshan Shankar, who volunteers in the AAP government, raised questions about the association’s handle.

“The only politician and policy leader that the @IAS_Agmut Twitter handle follows is PM @narendramodi. The only state IAS association they follow is Gujarat's IAS association. Are bureaucrats against AAP or is it just machines of propaganda that are hellbent on defeating AAP?,” he asked in a tweet.

Replying to Mr. Shankar, the association said: “Thank you for continuing to spread wrong information. We follow the PMO not any individual. Please could you give us the handles of other State IAS Associations since we could not find them? We would be glad to follow all our brethren :)”

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Printable version | Sep 19, 2021 12:55:43 AM |

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