In the run-up to the 2019 general elections, the Narendra Modi government will be betting big on the success of the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY), the scheme that provides free cooking gas connections to poor families. During the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections in March 2017, PMUY played the game-changer for Bharatiya Janata Party’s victory. The scheme has been an instant hit among the economically weaker section of the society, and within a year of its launch from Balia in UP, the scheme has already touched the 6-crore mark. Such is the popularity of the scheme, that the government has revised its target from 5 crore connections to 8 crore connections by 2021.
According to Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, the scheme along with government’s effort to replace polluting firewood in kitchens has led to LPG coverage rising to almost 90 per cent of the population.
With the 2019 elections round the corner, public sector undertaking Indian Oil Corporation, is going for a major advertisement blitzkrieg valued at Rs 293 crore. The campaign involves outdoor advertisement in Karnataka, Gujarat and Odisha and Mumbai and Delhi along with 26 airports across the country.
As per a report by a media house, a Delhi-based US advertising agency has the ruling BJP is among its top clients. The company has clients such as Flipkart, Sony, Nissan, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation, Gail India and BP.
The IOC campaign is massive in terms of budget as the total annual budget for other campaigns is around Rs 150-200 crore.
The media report suggests that Mumbai-based Laqshya Media Group and Signpost India, are also in fray for the IOC tender.
Last year, an RTI revealed that during the four year of power, the Modi government has spent Rs 4,343.26 crore on advertisements and publicity through different media. As per the RTI reply, the government spent Rs 955.46 crore on advertisement during last fiscal (April 2017-March 2018). According to RTI activist Anil Galgali it was right for the government to spend on publicity wherever genuinely required, but cases of overspending must be tightened. Do you agree?