Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Posted at: Apr 15, 2019, 7:08 AM; last updated: Apr 15, 2019, 7:08 AM (IST)

Cong lags behind on publicity front

Kuldeep Chauhan

Tribune News Service

Shimla, April 14

After lagging behind in declaring its candidates, the state Congress as also falling behind the BJP on the publicity front as well if one goes by the saffron party’s hoardings that dot the national highways across the state to woo Himachal’s 50 lakh voters ahead of May 19 Lok Sabha elections for the four Lok Sabha seats.

Though no case of violation of model code of conduct has come to the notice of the ECI so far, the Congress and the BJP have accused each other of “loot” of public money and using it for party promotion at the time of parliamentary elections.

As you travel along the Shimla-Kotkhai-Rohru highway in the apple belt, the hoardings put up by the party become all too visible. The same is true of the other highways. These hoardings feature the pictures of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP chief Amit Shah and Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur prominently as also those of four state’s key BJP leaders - Shanta Kumar, PK Dhumal, Jagat Prakash Nadda and BJP state chief Satpal Satti. The bigger picture of the party candidate figures prominently in the middle of the hoardings.

Though no candidate or party has lodged any complaint against the hoardings along the highways, the Congress termed it as a misuse of power considering that the BJP is in power at the Centre and in the state.

To escape attention of the ECI, the BJP’s publicity managers have put up these hoardings on private dhabas and buildings that dot the highways. The BJP has put up 20- 30 big hoardings in each Lok Sabha constituency, revealed BJP leaders.

Commenting on the hoardings race, chairman, Congress publicity committee, Naresh Chauhan said the Congress has been saying right from the beginning that the BJP was looting state and Central resources for party promotion. “We have yet to put up party hoardings at the suitable places across the state. The Congress, in the meantime, has launched a mass contact programme to woo voters,” he added.

BJP’s posters dot State highways

  • The saffron party's hoardings dot all national highways across the state.
  • Once the model code of conduct comes into force, hoardings and advertisements projecting achievements of any political leader or political party that carry his/her photo, name or party symbol at the cost of public exchequer should be removed immediately once the election date is announced.


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