"Violation of Protocol": PM Modi Raps Arvind Kejriwal for Live Telecasting High-Level Meet

By: Sashwata Saha
23 Apr 2021 9:09:06 PM Newshound India Desk

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is facing flak from the Centre over the live telecast of a six-minute monologue, earlier today, in which he red-flagged the oxygen crisis in the national capital region. The point was raised during the Prime Minister’s meet with the CMs of the 10 states worst affected by the pandemic and telecast live on TV via an ANI feed.


The Delhi chief was twice interrupted by PM Modi, who looked visibly irked when he realised about the live feed. 


First, when Kejriwal suggested that the PM’s “idea” of an Oxygen Express be implemented to bring the li saving gas from Bengal and Odisha to Delhi, the PM said, “It’s not an idea. It’s already going on.”


The second one came towards the end of Kejriwal’s speech, when he prayed for the departed souls to find peace. “This is against our protocol and tradition that a chief minister live telecasts a private meeting,” the Prime Minister snapped. “This is not right and we must practice restraint.”


Kejriwal's public appeal came under heavy criticism from the BJP, with unnamed “government sources” telling ANI that Kejriwal had “descended to a new low” and his monologue “was not meant for any solution but for playing politics and evading responsibility”. The sources also claimed that “private conversations of PMs meeting with the CM” had never been televised before.


Kejriwal’s office has issued a statement saying that it “regrets” the row. Defending the live feed, the Delhi CMO said that there was no communication or instruction from the PMO on banning the broadcast of such interaction. “In absence of any such communication, we treated it as any other meeting,” an Aam Aadmi Party leader told Newslaundry.


Newslaundry, citing a person involved in arranging the live, reported that the decision was taken by the CM’s office. “Usually, it is only the prime minister’s version that gets out in the public,” the source was quoted. “What the CMs say is hardly presented. The Delhi government wanted its own demands to appear before the people.”


It is not true that the contents of a PM-CM interaction are never made public. On April 8, PM Modi’s entire thirty-minute monologue during a meeting with all of the nations’ Chief Ministers was uploaded on social media. Parts of this were also telecast on pro-right news channels. In May last year, Punjab’s CM Amarinder Singh had released his conversation with PM Modi at a virtual PM-CM meeting to the media. Singh had demanded greater federal autonomy for states to combat the pandemic.


Delhi reported over 26,000 new coronavirus infections and 306 deaths on Thursday.

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