In 2015, after Arvind Kejriwal won the Delhi elections, the media gave him so much publicity as though he had won the elections of the world and crowned King of 7 continents.The media highlighted every word and every action of kejriwal including the time when he gets hair cut, what movie he watches or what he eats and drinks.
The media literally behaved like a PR agent of Kejriwal running behind him every time. The country wondered what exactly was this man’s contribution to get so much publicity other than his melodramatic acts on streets, his ‘Election Cough’, ‘election sweater’ and election gimmicks. But now, the RTI reply sort by IANS has revealed the secret of media coverage to Kejriwal.
The RTI reply stated that Kejriwal spent nearly 70 crore a year on media coverage and PR activity. The RTI report states that In the first year after assuming office in February 2015, the AAP government spent Rs 59.9 crore on advertisements, Rs 66.3 crore the next year and Rs 85.3 crore up to December 31, 2017 as revealed by the Directorate of Information and Publicity (DIP).
The average annual expenditure of the AAP government on advertisements from April 2015 to December 2017 was Rs 70.5 crore. While the previous governments spent around 17 crores annually, Kejriwal increased the media budget 4 times more to 70 crores.
According to the DIP, the expenditure includes, among others, advertisements with photos of the Chief Minister and other ministers in newspapers and hoardings, commercial spots on TV and radio, and tender notices published in newspapers. It is said when the AAP government completed first year in office, the leading newspapers were given full page advertisements for over a week. Now, the AAP government in the run up for 3 anniversary again carried out advertisements for the first two weeks of February in the front pages of all leading newspaper said the report.
The AAP government`s spending on advertisements increased by about 300 per cent compared to the previous governments. A 2017 Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report found that the Delhi government had spent 86 per cent of the total budget for its media campaign celebrating the completion of AAP`s one year in power in 2016. Last year during the Punjab elections, it was found that Arvind Kejriwal had used 97 crore of Government’s funds on advertising and campaigning in Punjab, after which the Lt Governor had warned Kejriwal to repay the 97 crore.
Totally the AAP has spent a massive amount of 200 crore in 3 years on just advertisements. This is a blatant misuse of power and position for politics and votes. Since the time Kejriwal came to power, there hasn’t been a single development programs undertaken and has spent most of the time relaxing in Bangalore Jindal Nature Cure or campaigning in Goa, Punjab and travelling abroad. The Delhi CM and his Dy CM were happily enjoying their abroad trip when the entire state was suffering from Dengue. His ministers were happily spending time Goa beaches and resorts while the people were dying of diseases.
Sadly, Delhi voted for this man thinking he will change the fortunes of the state, but seems like he has changed the fortunes of media houses and himself with his media gimmicks.