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CM for 20 days, Yediyurappa builds his image with full-page ads as Karnataka battles floods

Congress and political analysts slam Yediyurappa’s move, say it’s ill-timed, and instead of spending lakhs on ads, CM should’ve used money for flood relief.

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Bengaluru: Seventeen of Karnataka’s 30 districts are battling floods and the state is closing in on a month without a cabinet, but Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa seems to believe there’s no bad time for a good PR push.

Just about three weeks into his tenure as CM, Yediyurappa Wednesday issued full-page ads in Kannada dailies, hailing his initiatives such as farm loan waivers and flood relief.

The full-page ads are headlined “Robust steps taken by his government to build a prosperous Karnataka”, alongside a full-length photo of Yediyurappa.

While newspaper ads are a routine channel for government promotions, few have taken kindly to Yediyurappa’s chest-thumping, which has been described as premature and ill-timed.

The Karnataka Congress said the ads were an act of desperation.

“People usually put out such ads after a year of governance. This only displays the mentality of the BJP, that they don’t care about people, only their own achievements,” said senior Congress leader and former Ballari MP V.S. Ugrappa.

“In the last 15 days, they have failed to form the council of ministers, where’s the question of achievements? The lakhs of rupees spent on the ads should have been used for the rehabilitation of those affected by floods,” he added.

Bengaluru-based political analyst Ramakrishna Upadhya echoed the Congress, saying the ads were a desperate move to send a message to people that all is well in Yediyurappa’s government and he is capable of providing a stable administration.

“This ad is ill-advised and ill-conceived. For a two-week administration, there is nothing that he (Yediyurappa) can tom-tom about,” he added. “He does not even have a full-fledged cabinet. It would probably have been OK to issue an ad like this after administering the state for about six months… Right now, his priority should be to concentrate on providing relief to those affected by the floods, not this,” Upadhya said.

Brand guru Harish Bijoor added that showcasing one’s achievements in two weeks was not justifiable.

“It is a misjudgement to have advertised. But having said that, Yediyurappa is facing tough times, with the floods and… being a single-man government,” he said. “The ad was probably meant as a message to the BJP rank and file, that the party is here to stay… This ad is not an administrative action, but a political one…”


Also read: Yediyurappa still without a cabinet as Shah, Modi look to ‘send Karnataka CM a message’


BJP defends ads

Karnataka BJP spokesperson S. Prakash, however, said there was nothing wrong in issuing an advertisements for a three-week-old administration.

“The ad was issued to announce a new scheme, where Yediyurappa has added Rs 4,000 to the annual pension of Rs 6,000 announced by PM Modi for farmers (PM Kisan),” he added.

Yediyurappa had announced the move immediately after assuming office on 26 July.

“It (the ad) also talks about what the government has done for people since we came to power. It only shows that this government is for the poor,” he said.

Among other things, the ads say the current priority of the government is to rehabilitate the flood-affected, many of whom have lost their homes, and includes account details of the chief minister’s relief fund for donations. Karnataka is one of several states reeling under a spate of floods, with at least 54 dead and 15 missing so far.


Also read: ‘Leaked tapes’ of Karnataka IPS officer, murky power deal — scandal hits Yediyurappa govt


 

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1 COMMENT

  1. Its not a one man govt. There is no need for ministers as officials will do the job after getting directions from the CM. Ministers will cause dissent and play politics.

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