Newly inducted minister Arora, after taking over as public relations minister, held his first meeting with officials of the public relations department on Monday in which along with other senior officials of the department Prashar was also present. Arora uploaded the pictures of this meeting on his Twitter handle, including the one in which Prashar was also there.
On Tuesday morning a few channels reported about appointment of Prashar, an independent professional who has his company VIP Motion Pictures and has been into social media management. He originally hails from Jalandhar. He worked with Channi also when he became Punjab CM and is said to have played a crucial role in his initial image building exercise.
However, in the evening, Punjab government’s official Facebook page and Twitter handle posted that it was a “fake news” while posting two screenshots of the news. They announced, “This is ‘fake news’. Punjab government has not appointed anyone as director, social media.”
Former AAP MP Dr Dharamvira Gandhi on Wednesday morning posted on his Facebook the picture of the meeting presided by Arora and questioned government’s claim while also posting Prashar’s appointment letter by Patiala S S Services Providers bearing July 6 date and mentioning his appointment as director, social media, with place of posting under the Punjab State Media Society (PUNMEDIA) apart from other terms and conditions including remuneration of Rs 1.25 lakh per month. He also posted an image purportedly of an attendance register which had Prashar’s attendance on July 7, 8 and 11 along with two other names.
Punjab Congress also posted the same documents on its official Twitter handle and asked the government to explain. BJP leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa also posted the documents of his appointment and questioned the Punjab government. Scores of Punjabi netizens posted on Facebook and questioned state government’s denial that Prashar was not appointed.
Even as the issue was widely shared on Punjabi social media space, Punjab government did not post anything on the issue till evening.
Arora’s tweet about the meeting, Prashar is on the left of secretary Gurkirat Kirpal Singh.