In the wake of the recent allegations on Robert Vadra, the son-in-law of Congress chief, Sonia Gandhi by anti-corruption activists Arvind Kejriwal and Prashant Bhushan, the businessman had come up with a response on Facebook – “Thank you so much for your concern. I am fine and can handle all the negativity. I have lost people I loved, what can be worse.” ((Source: Rediff))
In a press conference on Friday, Kejriwal had accused realty giants DLF of having sold high valued properties at throwaway prices to Robert Vadra for government favours. He demanded an inquiry into this, with the assurance that he was ready to face a defamation case if his charges were proved false. Despite the seriousness of the allegations and the uproar on social media with ‘Robert Vadra’ trending whole day on Twitter, the much-awaited response came in quite late.
And this after garnering support from many powerful quarters – the finance minister P. Chidambaram dismissed the demand for an inquiry saying that transactions between two private individuals can’t be questioned on the basis of “implied act of corruption”. The ruling party spokesman accused Kejriwal of having joined forces with the Opposition.
Nearly a day after this ‘indifferent’ post on Facebook, Robert issued a statement in response, stating that this is an attempt to malign him for gaining cheap publicity for the launch of Kejriwal’s political party. Also, DLF has issued a four-page point-by-point rebuttal of Kejriwal’s allegations, to which Kejriwal has tweeted that a lot of information has been suppressed. In another tweet, Kejriwal asks Robert whether he too stands by the DLF response or has his own version.
What is interesting to note here is the use of social media for important communication along with the traditional mode of issuance of public statements. Now Facebook and Twitter is being actively used by the political class to talk to the media and public at large. Kejriwal is actively using Twitter to give updates on the ongoing ‘Bijli-Pani Satyagraha‘ started by him. West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee has marked this phenomenon with her statement to media – “Whatever I have to say, I will say on Facebook”, after going live on Facebook this June.
Communication has moved from press meets to social media. And this practise seems to benefit the press media for their stories as well. No longer have they to run from pillar to post to get a response for their news articles. Keeping a tab on the social media networks of people in power suffices just as well.