Finance and Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley raised questions over “selective and excessive” advertising by a state government and wondered if it amounts to “political bribery”, a veiled attack on the Aam Aadmi Party government. “If today any state gets the right to disburse excessive and selective advertising, a trend which is being witnessed for the first time, under which friends are rewarded and opponents punished. So the power of selective and excessive advertising is used…. I raised a question — will such advertising become political bribery or political incentive?” he asked.
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The Union minister expressed concern that some state governments are using public funds for personal promotion through selective advertisements and this is affecting neutrality of journalism.
Jaitley was speaking at ‘Narad Samman’, an event organised by Indraprastha Vishwa Samvad Kendra, where several journalists were fecilitated. Ravi Kanojia, principal photographer of The Indian Express, was also honoured at the event as best photographer (posthumously). Kanojia had died in an accident a few days ago while on an assignment to cover a water train in drought-hit Jhansi.