Left red-faced by its embarrassing performance in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections and keeping in mind the role played by advertising in the BJP’s campaign, the Congress-led Democratic Front government has earmarked Rs 93.27 crore for a massive publicity campaign, that will continue for the next few months.
Prof Fauzia Khan, minister of state for information and public relations, said the government wants to take its different schemes and development projects to the people
As the state gears up for assembly polls that are scheduled for the month of October this year, the government is keen on convincing the electorate how its projects and decisions helped them.
Accordingly, a supplementary demand of Rs 93.27 crore was introduced before the state assembly. Terming it a ‘special publicity campaign’, the state says, ‘the funds will be utilised for wide publicity of the schemes implemented by the government for the benefits and awareness of common people’.
The campaign will include advertisements in leading publications and electronic media, including Doordarshan, private news channels, All India Radio and FM channels. Hoardings will also be put up on state transport (ST) buses and BEST buses, and suburban services of Central and Western Railway.
This is the highest-ever budgetary provision made for a government advertisement campaign in recent years. Professor Fauzia Khan, minister of state for information and public relations, said that the government wants to take its different schemes and development projects to the people.
“Many of our achievements have not reached the people and the publicity campaign will offer the necessary push,” she said. BJP state unit chief and MLA Devendra Fadnavis termed the move a knee-jerk attempt by a government that has failed to perform.
“What does the state government want to tell people,” he asked, pointing out that large parts of the state were suffering due to incessant load shedding. “There are villages and towns where electricity is not available for 12-14 hours a day, and the state has not been able to increase power generation to meet the required supply.
There have been numerous complaints against distribution networks as well,” he said. “Is the government going to tell people how many farmers have committed suicide in the recent years?” asked Fadnavis. “The expensive campaign will reveal the real face of the government and people will react through the ballot boxes during the state assembly elections,” he signed off.