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Fresh row in Gujarat over Congress’s poll campaign ad

Thursday, 29 November 2012 - 4:33pm IST | Place: Ahmedabad | Agency: dna

Controversy in Gujarat congress campaign continues.

Controversy in Gujarat congress campaign continues.  After the hype created over the use of a Sri Lankan child in a Gujarat an advertisement on malnutrition, the state unit of the party is now facing ridicule for using photographs of farmers from Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh and a child from Tripura in its ad claiming farmers are waiting for electricity connections in Gujarat.

Under its campaign ‘Join hands for change’, Congress had issued a series of advertisements including one showing a photo of a farmer, to highlight the issue of pending power connections to them in the state said “10 lakh farmers of the state are awaiting electricity connections.” These were published in websites and newspapers. The BJP has raised questions over use of photographs, which they allege were from other countries and states.

The ruling BJP has alleged that the photo used in the advertisement was that of a farmer from Rajasthan, a state ruled by Congress. The Congress has, however, maintained that the photos used are symbolic but the facts given in those advertisements cannot be disputed.

“The photos used in these advertisements are symbolic. But the facts given on electricity connections, malnutrition, pasture land given to industry, malnutrition among women are real. Can BJP dispute those facts,” Congress spokespersonManish Doshi asked.

Congress sources said they had outsourced this campaign to an advertising agency which was responsible for selection of material like photographs. “It seems that a lot of the images used by them are taken from Google, but photos are symbolic and facts in those advertisements are true,” a Cong source said.

The BJP, however, got another chance to target the Opposition. They have accused the Congress of cheating the people of Gujarat.

“The Congress is not even capable of carrying an original campaign against the BJP in Gujarat, and as a result they have been found to be borrowing or stealing visuals and other ideas from here and there, and that only shows the bankruptcy of the Congress campaign and of the Congress leadership. How the people of Gujarat react to this sort of cheating will be known in the next few days when voting takes place,” said BJP leader Balbir Punj in New Delhi.

Fellow BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that the Congress’ very existence in Gujarat was on the line.

“The Congress party does not have an issue. In Gujarat, the Congress is fighting for its very existence,” Naqvi said.

Earlier, in the same series of advertisements, the Congress found itself at a centre of a row when it emerged  that one of the photographs of a child used for an advertisement on malnutrition was that of a Sri Lankan flood victim.

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