UPA ad campaign not with eye to 2014: Tewari

New Delhi, May 14 (IANS) Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari Tuesday denied the publicity campaign launched by his ministry detailing development initiatives of the UPA government was with an eye to next year’s general elections.

A day after the ministry launched a multi-media catalogue of India’s development in the last nine years, highlighting the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) governement’s key development programmes like the MGNREGS, Indira Awas Yojana, Janani Suraksha, Tewari said the campaign merely “highlights the positives” and was a “public information campaign” of the schemes.

On Monday, Tewari released the “Glimpses of the India Story” – a multi-media initiative to be put across on television, radio, print and outdoor publicity “with the objective of informing and appraising the public to encourage greater participation in developmental efforts”.

Speaking to CNN-IBN channel, Tewari said: “We have not tried to exterpolate, we have tried to underscore the transformation in the country during the nine years of the UPA reign and the facts are borne out by the public records and can be tested.”

He described it as an “enabling initiative” by which the ministry was placing the “narrative on the table, which in the course of political diatribe falls off the table… putting the initiatives in perspective and context”.

Asked by the channel if it was with an eye to the general elections, the minister said: “This is only a public information campaign and there is nothing else to it.”

“We are one year from elections and looking at the ninth anniversary of the UPA. This is an attempt to tell the UPA story and not linked to election or political hyperbole. This is part of dissemination of information entitled to the information and broadcasting ministry.”

He said the publicity was part of the mandate of his ministry.

He said the India Shining campaign had been launched by the then National Democratic Alliance government on the eve of the 2004 elections and was based on “hype and hoopla”, while the publicity initiative launched by his ministry is “based on facts”.

Bharatiya Janata Party chief Rajnath Singh, taking a dig at the ad campaign, said the “UPA government has been around for almost a decade and they have failed in almost all fronts.”

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