The Congress and BJP have both decried AAP’s campaign as being ‘publicity driven’.

AAP goes for media splash on first anniversary Yogendra Yadav wonders who is paying
news AAP Advertising Sunday, February 14, 2016 - 18:31

No matter which part of the country you are in, most of you would have noticed the ad splash by the AAP in newspapers with the party completing one year in office on Sunday.

Newspapers like the Times of India had two full page advertisements in most editions. The ads detailed Delhi government's plans and achievements including odd even scheme and zero tolerance to corruption.

The Delhi government is holding a function with the slogan ‘Ek Saal Bemisaal’ in New Delhi to coincide with Valentine’s Day where it will highlight its accomplishments in the past one year by releasing a booklet. Besides, it will also take suggestions from the audience on how to improve governance.  

"The CM has directed all departments to list their achievements in the past one year and submit them to the Chief Minister's Office. If any minister fails to showcase the achievements, the matter will then be taken seriously," sources said.

The government’s Information and Publicity department plans a series of advertisements as part of the anniversary celebrations across mediums, including newspaper and outdoor ads as well as radio, according to a senior official. 

Meanwhile, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal tweeted:

The Congress and BJP have both decried AAP’s campaign as being ‘publicity driven’. Congress even went to the high court alleging that public funds were being misused for advertisements that were political in nature.

The AAP government told the Delhi High Court that it had spent money on advertisements that spread awareness among the public about their policies and programmes, which citizens had the right to know.

An affidavit filed on behalf of the AAP government said, “advertisements inform the public about the policies and priorities of the current government, namely, reducing corruption, reducing electricity bills, free water, reducing power cuts, fixing potholes, increasing the education and health budget."

The Centre has also weighed in on the issue by saying that the Supreme Court ruling that taxpayers’ money cannot be used for image-building exercise of political leaders applies to all states and union territories, and Delhi is no exception.

The AAP also defied a Supreme Court ruling that barred use of photographs of chief ministers in government advertisements as most of its campaigns have been centred on its firebrand CM.  

In October last year, following a complaint that Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia’s relatives were given contracts illegally, Delhi’s Anti-Corruption Bureau(ACB) had initiated a probe into alleged irregularities in awarding contracts for advertisements by the Delhi government. The Delhi government steadfastly denied the allegations while claiming that elements were trying to tarnish its reputation. 

Former AAP member Yogendra Yadav on Sunday voiced his opposition through a couple of tweets: 

The government in its defence said, “It is made clear that all advertisements in print, electronic and outdoor media are strictly released only through DAVP(Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity) empanelled agencies, and strictly on DAVP rates. Further, in case DAVP rates of particular media are not available, then advertisements are released only on rates duly approved by the Finance Department.”

While the Delhi government continues with its aggressive advertising campaign built around its CM amid opposition protests, the real test lies in whether it manages to strike a chord with the people. 

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