The NCP raised questions over the funding of the advertisements released by the Modi government to celebrate its two years in office, claiming an RTI query has revealed that the amount spent on these ads was “nil”.
Speaking to reporters here, NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said the party’s student wing leader Pranay Ajmera had filed an RTI query seeking to know what modes of advertisements were used by the BJP-led government on completing two years in office and also the total amount spent on their publishing.
He said the Right To Information (RTI) Act query was made with the Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP), the nodal agency to undertake multi-media advertising and publicity for various ministries and departments of the government, under the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting.
“In response to his query, Ajmera was informed that the amount spent on advertisements to celebrate two years completion of the Modi government, as on May 29, 2016, is nil,” Malik claimed.
“All government advertisements are published through the DAVP. If DAVP itself has stated that the government has spent nothing (on these advertisements), where have the ads come from and which companies have funded it? Which company that was favoured by the BJP is now favouring it?,” the NCP leader questioned.
Advertisements were published on front pages of almost all major newspapers on the completion of two years in office, Malik said, adding, “And if no company has paid for the advertisements then it is clear that the RTI machinery has been hijacked by the Modi government.”
Malik said Ajmera has now filed an appeal with the first appellate authority (under the RTI Act), seeking the details of the bills received for advertisements from any media agency or advertising group to mark the second anniversary of the government.
“The NCP has also asked for the bills cleared or amount spent on advertisements and modes of advertisements and name of all campaigns initiated to celebrate two years of the Modi government in office,” Malik said.