In a letter to Union Tourism Minister G Kishan Reddy, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Atishi demanded that Sambit Patra, the BJP’s national spokesperson, be fired from the India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) “for blatantly ignoring Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules and misusing the post for party work.”
Sambit Patra, national spokesperson of the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), was appointed as Chairman of India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) on 30th November, 2021 for a period of 3 years. ITDC falls under the supervision and control of the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India,” Atishi wrote, adding that Patra’s appointment was made by the Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) in an “unprecedented move to allegedly accommodate Mr Patra”.
Days before to Atishi’s letter, Jasmine Shah, the vice chairman of the Delhi Dialogue and Development Commission (DDC), had received a notice from the Delhi Lieutenant Governor for flagrantly exploiting public resources and her position as a spokesman for a political party.
Atishi said by continuing to hold the post of BJP national spokesperson, Patra is disqualified in law from holding the post of chairman, ITDC under Rule 5 of the CCS (Conduct) Rules 1964 and also under principles of neutrality required for holding any public office.
“The post of Chairman ITDC is a non-political post and the Chairman in not just required to be independent but also seen to be independent of any political affiliation. It should duly be noted that Mr. Patra seemingly holds no prior experience in tourism sector,” the letter added.
She added that there are numerous instances in the public record of Patra abusing his position as chairman of the ITDC by speaking at press events and news conferences on behalf of the BJP as its national spokesperson.
Additionally, it was claimed that Patra often held political meetings at the ITDC’s offices and participated in TV debates and interviews while acting as the BJP’s spokesperson from the ITDC’s premises. “The official Twitter account may be referred to in this regard.”