iconimg Monday, August 31, 2015

Darpan Singh, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, November 26, 2013
Dropping any reference to Anna Hazare from its publicity material may or may not cost the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) electorally, but the party is looking at a Rs. 4.9 lakh bill to do just that. AAP moved to remove Hazare’s name from publicity material after the social activist asked party leader Arvind Kejriwal not to use his name for campaigning.

AAP had commissioned 200 wall wraps and 38 billboards with the message: “29 December ko pass hoga Anna Hazare ka jan lokpal bill (Anna Hazare’s Jan Lokpal bill will be passed on December 29)”. This was followed by a tagline: “Is baar imandar party ko vote dein, jhadu pe batan dabayein (This time vote for an honest party, press the button alongside the [AAP’s] broom symbol.” Following Hazare’s plea, the tagline will replace the main message.

“The party paid `60 lakh to outdoor advertising firms. We will complete changing the message in two-three days. This will cost about Rs. 4.9 lakh,” said Faheem Khan, who assists AAP in publicity.

But AAP, born out of Hazare’s Jan Lokpal movement, is unlikely to completely stop all reference. Kejriwal has written to Hazare: “We do refer to the fact there was an Anna movement in 2011.”