RTI Reveals AAP Government Spent Rs 15 Crore On Advertisements In 91 Days

A banner criticizing AAP government for spending public money outside BJP Leader Vijay Goel's residence
A banner outside BJP leader Vijay Goel’s residence criticizing AAP government for spending public money on self publicity

AAP Ki Government Spending AAP Ka Paisa On Self Publicity

Advocate Aman Panwar, who is also a member of Congress, filed an application under RTI (Right To Information) to get details about the expenditure of Delhi government (Aam Aadmi Party) on advertisements and the reply brought shocking figures along with it. As per the reply, AAP government has spent nearly an amount of Rs. 15 crore on advertisements in the print media. This spending has taken place during the 91 day period till May 11.

AAP government has been severely criticized by opposition BJP and Congress, especially for spending huge amount of public money on what they term it as ‘self publicity’, but AAP leaders confronted the blame, saying that it is being done for creating awareness about public policies.

Interestingly, the RTI reply revealed that the publications which had received money from the Kejriwal government for carrying the advertisements includes dailies from Kerala, Karnataka, Odisha and Tamil Nadu among other states. AAP government can justify the advertisements for creating awareness among Delhi residents by giving advertisements in local dailies, but what kind of awareness it wants to create about Delhi government’s policies among other far flung states’ residents, only it can think about.

From February 10 to May 11, the total amount that the Delhi government has disbursed is Rs. 14.56 crore for advertising. This amount is excluding expenditure on broadcast. The much-lauded (self praised) odd-even rule was openly publicized in news papers (Delhi and other states), and it can be easily termed as ‘publicity stunt’ as it has been done by opposition parties.

AAP leaders had admitted in the Lok Sabha that they have spent Rs. 5 crore for the publicity of the two rounds of the odd-even rule that they started in New Delhi. That amount was spent for 15 days each in the month of January and April respectively.

Ascertaining the details, the Minister of State for Home Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary said in a written reply that on print media, the Delhi government have spent an amount of Rs. 1.67 crore while on creating the awareness related to the road rationing policy on electronic media, they spent an amount of Rs. 3.72 crore. He further added, “As informed by the government of NCT of Delhi, the total expenditure on odd and even campaign so far is Rs. 5.39 crore.”

Criticizing AAP government for spending public money on self publicity, Congress leader Ajay Maken said, “On one hand we do not have money to pay to safai karamcharis for salary, on one hand we do not have money even to pay for pension but on the other they are spending huge amounts for advertisements for self publicity.”

The advertisements about Delhi government’s policies, including odd-even rule, can be very well seen in almost all places of Delhi, including public buses, metro, roadside banners, hoardings, and it is quite obvious that a government can spend public money to aware the citizens, but doing so outside the territorial boundaries of particular state government, it is a complete wastage of public money.

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