Hyderabad: For eight months, Andhra Pradesh chief minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy has been on the social networking site Facebook, where he has built up 2,371 followers—apparently without him being even aware of it.
On Thursday, the chief minister’s office issued a clarification that the Facebook page in the name of “Kiran Kumar Reddy Nallari—Andhra Pradesh CM” had been opened by “certain private individuals without the knowledge of the chief minister”.
“Neither the chief minister nor the state government subscribe to it,” the office said.
The statement came the same week as a teenager was arrested in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, for allegedly creating a fake Facebook profile of chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and “uploading cartoons and controversial photos on it,” according to PTI. The boy, who has been charged under cyber laws, was arrested after Chouhan filed a police complaint, the news agency said.
Kirthiga Reddy, Facebook’s Hyderabad-based director of online operations, was travelling and unavailable for comment on Thursday, her office said.
In Reddy’s case, the page was still up and running on Thursday. The owners of the page, with comments from people who thought they were addressing the chief minister and so aired their grievances and voiced their opinions, were listed as Allipuram Rajasekhar Reddy and Alla Surya Tej Reddy.
Rajasekhar Reddy said in a telephone interview that he and Surya Tej Reddy created the page a day before Kiran Kumar Reddy’s inauguration as chief minister on 25 November 2010.
“Daily we get at least four-five messages from public,” said Rajasekhar Reddy, who identified himself as an advertising professional. “I don’t know why the government wants us to remove it all of a sudden. Why should we remove it? In fact, I am looking forward to meeting the chief minister and requesting him to allow us to make it his official Facebook page as we are maintaining it so well.”
Kiran Kumar Reddy himself wants to network with the public through “Face Book”, said his office. In typical bureaucratese, it added: “Necessary modalities are being worked out.”
Yogendra Kalavalapalli contributed to this story.