To mend image ahead of polls,Centre to launch ad blitz today

A series of television spots and radio jingles will go on air from Tuesday.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published:May 14, 2013 3:25 am

Its image battered by a slew of corruption scandals,the UPA government at the Centre is launching an advertisement blitzkrieg to highlight and hard sell its initiatives and accomplishments in the last nine years in office. A series of television spots and radio jingles will go on air from Tuesday. The Information & Broadcasting Ministry has also readied print and outdoor publicity material as part of the multi-media initiative which comes as country enters the election year.

Filmmaker Pradeep Sarkar,who won a national award for Parineeta in 2005,has put together 12 TV spots which talk about the strides made by the government in various spheres and its flagship programmes like MNREGA,urban renewal mission,Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan,National Rural Health Mission and RTI. These spots in 11 languages will be played in cinema halls as well.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said such a campaign was needed to ensure that the government’s positives were not lost in the cut and thrust of the political debate and slug fest. He said any government’s performance can be benchmarked on five parameters — political stability,economic development,social cohesion,internal security and international relations — and claimed that the UPA has done some good work on all these fronts.

The TV spots talk about a plethora of government initiatives — setting up of IITs,IIMs,improving road connectivity in rural areas,electrification of households,metro rail projects,safe motherhood intervention,scholarship schemes for the minorities,scheduled caste and scheduled tribes.

Interestingly,one spot focuses on increase in rural teledensity in the last nine years at a time when the 2G spectrum license allocation controversy is back in the form of the tussle in the JPC.

The advertisements focuses on the achievements of both UPA I and II.

The Bharat Nirman advertisement campaign — which comes a year ahead of general elections and months ahead of crucial Assembly battles — can be contrasted with the previous NDA’s 2004 India Shining blitz which failed to click. While the government says there is no comparison between the two campaigns,it will be evaluated after 15 days to see if it has the desired impact.

Tewari said a comparison would be completely erroneous. He said the current campaign is not an attempt to inflate,neither to extrapolate nor spin. “It is the real story of India,” he claimed.

India Shining,he said,had bombed while the India story would fly as it was not “hype and hoopla”. The ads,he said,talk about a silent revolution that had taken place during the UPA regime.

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