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HindustanTimes Fri,25 Apr 2014

UPA eyes calendars to woo voters ahead of 2014 poll

Arjun Sharma, Hindustan Times   Ludhiana, January 18, 2013
First Published: 23:36 IST(18/1/2013) | Last Updated: 23:51 IST(18/1/2013)

The UPA government at the Centre is all set to woo voters ahead of the 2014 general election on the basis of "success" of its flagship schemes launched in the past few years, hoping that educating the laymen through humble calendars would do the needful.


Nearly 20,000 wall calendars - duly listing the "achievements" of the Congress-led central government - have since reached Union information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari's residence here for distribution at the ward and block levels by party workers, councillors and block presidents. Even diaries and table calendars have reached Ludhiana from Delhi, where they were printed.

Similar calendars and diaries have been sent across the country. Each leaf of the calendar carries information on centrally sponsored schemes. It was learnt that Ludhiana member of parliament Manish Tewari was behind the idea to make use of the humble calendar to tout the government's achievements.

"A strategy has been chalked out to ensure that our calendars reach each and every area, not only in Ludhiana but the entire country. Schemes launched by the UPA regime should reach each and every household and calendars have been got printed with this objective in mind," said district Congress president Pawan Dewan, who is a close associate of Tewari.

It would be for the first time that such calendars would be distributed in Ludhiana ahead of polls.
 
Interestingly, Calendars enumerating central schemes in Hindi would be handed out in rural areas whereas those in English would be distributed in urban areas for maximum impact.

"Residents of most states with non-Congress governments are not even aware of centrally-sponsored schemes. The SAD-BJP alliance in Punjab never told the people of the state that a large amount of funds for development of the state came from centrally-sponsored schemes," claimed Dewan.
Needless to say, photographs of prime minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi adorn the calendars.

Some major schemes listed out on the calendars are Aadhar-direct cash transfer scheme, Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, Indira Awas Yojana, Scheduled Caste Empowerment and Saakshar Bharat.
As expected, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has flayed the move and claimed that precious public money that could have been used for the betterment of public was "wasted" on printing of thousands of calendars for publicity.

"If the Congress government has launched schemes for the betterment of countrymen, what was the need to highlight them? Residents of Punjab very well know which party has done them good. This was the reason they chose SAD-BJP alliance over the Congress during last assembly election in Punjab," remarked Ludhiana district BJP president Praveen Bansal.

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