A reply to an RTI query has revealed that the Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi spends Rs 16 lakh a day on advertising in print media.
According to the RTI reply, upwards of Rs 14.45 crore was spent solely on print ads over the 90-day period between February 10 and May 10 this year, not including broadcast commercials.
After the successful implementation of the odd-even scheme, a gung-ho AAP thehindu
The publications in which Delhi government ads were placed include three Malayali and one Kannada newspaper. The RTI was filed by advocate Aman Panwar, a south Delhi-based lawyer who also heads the legal cell of the Delhi Congress.
“The period coincides with the one year anniversary celebrations of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government before and after which full page ads about its achievements running into multiple pages were published in more than 20 dailies across the country,” Panwar said.
On its part, the Delhi government, which cut its allocation for Information and Publicity from Rs. 526 crore to Rs. 100 crore this year, stressed that its actual expenditure on publicity was recorded at Rs 80 crore during the entirety of its first year in power.
The Congress has taken the AAP head on over this humongous expenditure on advertising campaigns.
The Congress has also accused the Delhi government of withholding information on expenditure related to ads on hoardings and various media including television and radio incurred during the same period.
The Delhi government spent around Rs 5 crore in publicising the two rounds of the odd-even scheme, implemented for 15 days each in January and April respectively, the Lok Sabha was told recently.
A screengrab from the Arvind Kejriwal government’s television advertisement ndtv
The Opposition has termed the odd-even scheme as a “publicity stunt”.