Under fire from the BJP for allegedly using photos in its advertisement campaign from outside Gujarat, the Congress on Friday launched a counter-attack on social media putting up a series of photographs used by the BJP on its Facebook pages and websites, which it claimed were “fraudulently” misguiding people.
Posts on the official Congress Facebook page claimed the official BJP website, www.bjpgujarat.com, and its official Facebook page, ‘Ekmat Gujarat’, picked up the image of a high-voltage transmission line from the website of the US Department of Energy to depict the state government’s Jyotigram Yojana.
A post on the Facebook page, ‘Narendra Modi for PM,’ comparing roads of Ahmedabad to that of Amethi, the parliamentary constituency of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, placed swanky BRTS road of Ahmedabad alongside a potholed road that it said was from Amethi. A post on the ‘Join Hands for Change (JHC)’ campaign’s Facebook page claimed the potholed road actually belonged to Texas in the US, and not Amethi, as claimed on Facebook.
The picture was picked up from the website, blog.beaumontenterprise.com, it said.
In yet another post, JHC claimed the same Facebook page used the picture of a group of smiling women depict the positive effects of development in Gujarat, which was actually picked up from the website of the Institute for Indian Mother and Child (IIMC), showing women in Kolkata.
The same website used the picture of tobacco plantation in Australia to show the party’s achievements in leading state’s agriculture growth, the JHC Facebook post claimed.
The picture of wind turbine on the state government’s Vibrant Gujarat 2014 Summit website showing Gujarat’s commitment to green energy is picked up from the website, www.windwyo.com, it added.
State Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi said, “This is what we have been saying all along, that photographs are only the symbolic presentation and facts are what matter. We would still like to ask Narendra Modi if the facts that we presented are wrong. The BJP still has time to answer this to the public.”
BJP countered the allegations saying the “Congress is making hue and cry like a kid when his lollipop is snatched away.”
“They had no brains (when making advertisement), and are behaving the same way they have done for the development and growth of Gujarat in the past,” said state BJP IT cell convenor Rajeeka Kacheria.
BJP comes out with more Congress bloopers
The state Congress has been cornered in yet another advertising faux pas just days after it faced flak for using the image of a Sri Lankan child to depict malnourishment in Gujarat, which was first reported in the Indian Express.
BJP’s IT cell has now posted images of a farmer from Rajasthan, a boy drinking water in Tripura and another farmer from Rajasthan that were allegedly used in Congress’ Join Hands for Change campaign.
“If you use stock images to say something positive then it is alright, but if you use it to spread negative things then we have a problem with that. Congress is the opposition party and has been out of power from sometime, so we can understand that it is trying aggressive campaigning to malign us. But they have insulted the image of Gujarat in the eyes of the world and the country by presenting wrong images of the state and we condemn this,” said BJP spokesperson Jagdish Bhavsar.
The Congress, which has mostly skirted the ad issue claiming the images to be symbolic, has managed to pull back many of the ads and replace them with a new theme.
“I agree that our agency may have used photographs that were symbolic and that best represented the issue at hand. But this error has been corrected and we will ensure that such a goof up does not happen in future. But I would like to ask if the BJP can sit with us on a public forum and refute the startling facts that we have found out in our research and revealed in our ads,” said Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi.