The UPA government has decided to press top ministers to publicise its welfare initiatives with pomp in a bid to curb some shrill attacks from the Opposition. At the heart of this mission lies the direct cash transfer scheme.
In their speeches, public interactions and publications, ministers are expected to combat the Opposition's attacks. A sample of this was visible at the government's launch of its official 2013 calendar on Friday, which leads with the direct cash transfer theme.
The humble calendar will go where android screens don't: nearly 12 lakh copies covering remote locations, panchayats (village-level administrations), district headquarters, post offices and primary health clinics.
I&B minister Manish Tewari, who took a keen interest on the calendar's theme and design, wanted the cash transfer programme highlighted upfront. Each month in the calendar brought out by the directorate of audio-visual publicity corresponds to a thematic description of one of the government's 12 biggest programmes.
The calendar's leitmotif bore an inkling of what the Congress's campaign theme could be: "Saabka hit, saabka haq (in every one's interests, for everybody's rights)".
"There's a world beyond Raisina Hill and the metros, where the daily calendar still plays a crucial role in people's lives," Tewari said.
On the occasion, two ministers - Kapil Sibal and V. Narayanasamy - took the battle to the Opposition's camp, signaling more such counter-attacks. "The disruptions of Parliament ultimately hit the common man because by stalling reforms, they (the opposition) are holding up growth that helps finance welfare scheme."