Even as the image of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) got tattered with the series of scams hitting the nation, the UPA 2 has come up with a new promotional scheme by launching an advertisement campaign that glorifies the nine years of UPA rule even as it prompted the Opposition to deride the ruling regime.
The ad campaign called ´Bharat Nirman´ seems rather similar to the National Democratic Alliance´s (NDA) 'India Shining' campaign before the 2004 elections.
The Oppositions has however slammed the government for the expenses that went into the campaign that features Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi at the end.
Keeping an eye on the upcoming 2014 elections, Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari unveiled a dozen advertisement clips recently.
In one of the ads, an old man, having visited Delhi, narrates his experience and developments of Delhi metro to fellow villagers.
In another, a busy marriage household is shown where meal menus are being finalised. Relatives are being called; train and cab bookings are being made - all on the cellphone.
One clip highlights a successful woman, being felicitated at an awards ceremony, who had availed herself of mid-day meals while in school, and a post-matriculation government scholarship.
Another ad showcases labourers stand up to an exploitative contractor because they can now take recourse to the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).
The government has pitched its five key benchmarks through the ads.
A theme song, with a jingle titled ´Meelon hum aa gaye, meelon hume jaana hai´ (We've come a long way, we have a long way to go), has been used, sung by the star singers Shaan and Sunidhi Chauhan.
According to reports, the government has spent about Rs 16 crore to produce the television advertisements which have been directed by film-maker Pradip Sarkar.
This has invited several criticisms as the NDA had spent the money themselves for ´India Shining´, but the ´Bharat Nirman´ ad campaign has been totally produced by the government on the expenses of tax-payers.
However, Tiwari has said the ad campaign was produced to showcase 'political stability´.
Refuting the comments, that the campaign is a replica of the NDA ad, he said, "nothing like 2002 has repeated itself."
"This is not a political campaign, but it is important to remember that the Chinese wall between the party and the government is porous since people elect the party," Tiwari said.
"This is not an attempt to inflate, extrapolate or spin. It is a story of what happened over the past nine years. India Shining bombed, the India Story will fly," he said.
The government though tainted with corruption, claims "We have come miles; we have to go miles" in the advertisement.