Why looting and plundering taxpayers' money is a trademark of Governments

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It seems that troubles are not over yet for UPA which is already on back-foot after Justice Katju's revelation that UPA had compromised through its ally DMK on the matter of giving extension to one of the judges. A recent RTI revelation has said that erstwhile Government spent about Rs 2,048 crore on publicity in last three years including Rs 380 crore in just one month during Lok Sabha election. Earlier, UPA had conceded that between 2010 to 2014, they spend Rs 421 crore money on Bharat Nirman. BJP led NDA Government also had frittered crores of money on their India shining campaigning during its tenures (199-2004).

This raises a broader question that why parties spend so much exchequer money on advertisement just to hoodwink people?

Why not they rather spend that money on social welfare schemes which will improve the socio-economic condition of people.

NDA had spent Rs 150 crore on India Shining campaign

The RTI information accessed by Anil Galgali estimates that with the same amount which Congress-led UPA spent on their add campaign they could made IIM and IIT like institution which could have provided higher education to lakhs of youth of the country.

Rajiv Gandhi adopted this strategy in eighties

This trend of spending big money on ad campaign, started by Rajiv Gandhi Government in 1984 after Indira Gandhi's assassination and Operation Bluestar. According to reports, the architect of the whole campaign were two Aruns, i.e., Arun Singh and Arun Nehru who were from corporate background. Earlier, Rajiv's mother and former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi also espoused this idea to her benefit. Indira Gandhi used this as a tool to fight against old guard, the Kamraj-led syndicate, the Morarjis and the Nijalingappas. Though social media and high technology were not available then but large posters and banners were largely used in mid-70s to propagate party's message (Opposition termed this as propaganda). Similarly, UPA and NDA splurged large amounts of money on their advertisement campaigns with an aim to give push to party's image which got beating by corruption cases and inept governance.

Advertisement blitzkrieg by various Governments

NDA spent over Rs 150 crore on its India Shining campaign though it couldn't change its fate and dispensation faced massive defeat in 2004 general election.

Meanwhile, UPA had spent around Rs 100 crore on advertisement which catapult it to power in 2009.

According to Indian Express report, the UPA spent Rs 304 crore (2009-2010) on print advertisements followed by Rs 356 crore (2010-2011) and Rs 382 crore (2011-2012).

During 2010 and 2014, the UPA-II government spent Rs 421 crore on publicity under its flagship Bharat Nirman programme.

It is true that all political parties shell out big bucks on ad campaigns during election. But then if parties would have done some work in the larger interest of people then they didn't have to depend on such glossy add for their fate in election. Before spending big money on advertisement why erstwhile Government didn't think about NDA's fate in 2004. NDA lost general election in spite of spending big on India Shining in 2004. UPA also met with the same fate as NDA in 2004.

UPA learnt lesson in LS election

At a time when the UPA's image had completely gone for a toss with large number of corruption cases, scandals and policy paralysis, high command planned to lure voters through glossy advertisement which showcased its achievements of past nine years in power. But UPA got worst defeat in its history. Narendra Modi-led BJP decimated them and that could be gauged by the number it got in Lok Sabha election. UPA got 55 while Congress could manage only 48 in the election.

The message of the people was loud and clear that they can't be made fool by advertisements, harping on Government's achievements. This time voters have clearly said that they can't be beguiled anymore and only real work worth the reward.

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