Several two-liner posters have come up at almost all the major junctions across the city in the last week of May.
The posters had triggered a controversy with the BJP alleging that it was “government-aided free advertisement” for chief minister Nitish Kumar. The RJD leaders had fumed over the absence of their leader Lalu Prasad in the posters.
However, stickers stating “published by the JDU” along with the party’s number have been pasted inside the posters overnight. Prashant Kishor, who has been handling advertisement campaign for Nitish, has played it smart. The team has made sure that posters with yellow background should have yellow stickers while the red one should have red. “The stickers have been put up overnight. The Kishor team has tried to camouflage the name of the claimants with the same colour of the stickers,” said a JDU source.
Ajay Alok, the JDU spokesperson, said: “The posters put up across the state have been adopted by the party now. Earlier, the cost of the advertisement was met by an NGO.”
Around 500 advertisement spaces of hoardings featuring Nitish has been lent by Advertisement Welfare Association, Bihar. Kaushal Kishore, owner of an advertisement agency and member of the AWA, said on June 21: “I have lent Income Tax roundabout advertisement space to the JDU. I have not got a single penny from the Bihar government. I got payment from the JDU office only.”
Earlier, JDU spokesperson Neeraj Kumar told The Telegraph that the party was not bearing the cost of the advertisements. “The hoardings have not been funded by the party. You will not find the party’s logo there. Had it been party’s hoarding, we must have put the logo. The toll free number 9006290062 has been mentioned there, which is not the party’s number either. This number is for the supporters and followers of Nitish to follow him on social media,” said Neeraj on June 21.
The party, instead of putting the party’s logo, has put stickers raising eyebrows. “The cost of the advertisement has been met by the government. Since the code of conduct will come in effect shortly, they have put the party’s stickers. The party is behaving like an opportunist. But the question remains – where is the party logo? The government and the party altogether have tried to hide the name of the claimant,” said senior BJP leader and Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Nand Kishore Yadav.
The Election Commission’s general guidance of the model code of conduct for the party in power states the issue of advertisement at the cost of public exchequer in newspapers and other media and the misuse of official mass media during the election period for partisan coverage of political news and publicity regarding achievements with a view to furthering the prospects of the party in power shall be scrupulously avoided.
Courtesy: The Telegraph