In a costly gaffe that will probably make the BJP’s top leadership squirm, a print ad publicising the “transformation” of Uttar Pradesh under Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath used pictures of a flyover from none other than central Kolkata to depict the industrial growth of the northern state.
This promptly triggered a spate of tweets from BJP’s arch rival, the Trinamool Congress, which accused UP’s supremo of stealing images of the infrastructure built by their chief Mamata Banerjee and passing it off as their own to win elections. UP, India’s most crucial state, is all set to go to the polls in February next year.
It must be galling for the BJP leadership to be called out for such a mistake, but what is worse is that the TMC leaders are doing their best to milk this slip-up. The advertisement – released by the UP government – boasted about the industrialistation and growth under Yogi Adityanath’s government over the last five years in the state, said a NDTV report.
But the photograph used in the collage to support the eulogising article was of the ‘Ma Flyover’ in central Kolkata, the fourth longest flyover in India, which was distinctly recognisable because of the trademark blue-white paint and yellow taxis on it.
Two buildings seen beside flyover in the ad have also been zeroed in on by social media users as those belonging to a five star hotel chain in Kolkata, said media reports.
Looks like the ‘DOUBLE ENGINE MODEL’ has MISERABLY FAILED in BJP’s strongest state and now stands EXPOSED for all! https://t.co/h9OlnhmGPw
— Abhishek Banerjee (@abhishekaitc) September 12, 2021
In the tweet, he mocked Yogi Adityanath for stealing images from infrastructure built by Mamata Banerjee in Bengal. Looks like the double engine model has miserably failed in BJP’s strongest state. He has tagged both Chief Ministers in his tweet.
He could not resist a quib: “Transforming UP” means spending millions on newspaper ads around India & stealing pics of development in Kolkata?”
Mr. @narendramodi is so helpless to save his party that other than changing CMs, he has also had to resort to using pictures of growth & infrastructure seen under @MamataOfficial‘s leadership, as his own.#BengalModel > #BJPRuledStatesModel Mr Modi? pic.twitter.com/USNOjrq03I
— Mukul Roy (@MukulR_Official) September 12, 2021
Besides changing CMs, the PM Modi was so desperate to save his party that he had to resort to using pictures of growth and infrastructure seen under Mamata Banerjee’s leadership as his own, tweeted Mukul Roy.
Meanwhile, a senior administration official Navneet Sehgal, the Additional Chief Secretary of the UP state’s Information department retweeted an apology extended by the publisher. The newspaper said that the mistake was made by their marketing department and apologised for it.
For Adityanath, who is already facing a lot of flak for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, this may well be a PR nightmare. But nothing can be worse for him than the images of hundreds of bodies floating on the Ganges at the height of the pandemic, which had caught the attention of media across the world. That he may find difficult to live down and not be able to easily erase from public memory.