The Jayalalithaa government unleashed a massive media advertisment blitzkrieg across the country today listing the achievements of ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu on the occasion of its completion of one year in office.
The media campaign, however, came in for some criticism with CPI saying it was "unacceptable" and a waste of public money to promote the image of a political leader.
Almost all national English dailies published from Chennai, New Delhi and elsewhere in the country carried a four-page 'jacket' ad in their editions issued by the state director of Information and Public Relations. They included the business papers.
The advertisments also appeared in some Tamil newspapers, but not in the ones owned by the opposition DMK family members.
There was no official information on the cost incurred by the state government for the multi-crore media campaign but unofficial estimates varied from Rs 15 crore to Rs 25 crore.
"One Year of Achievements Hundred Years Leap Forward" read the headlines of the full front-page advertisements that also carried a full-size picture of the chief minister and listed out the pro-poor welfare measures launched by her.
Some dailies also published special features on AIADMK's one year in power after it stormed to power with a landslide victory in the 2011 assembly polls unseating arch-rival DMK led by M Karunanidhi.
The state government advertisements listed out the various measures taken by the AIADMK regime under the caption "The Road Travelled - 2011-2012".
Some of the "achievements" in the Jayalalithaa ad are mostly AIADMK's election promises. They included the distribution of free rice, mixer-grinders, gold for mangal-sutras, cows and goats.
CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta lamented that it has become the latest culture of the people in power to waste people's money to "brighten" his or her image.
"This is absolutely pernicious, unacceptable...A CM always gets publicity whether or not there is a full page advertisment. This is all being done as a matter of over publicity," he said.
Janata Party President Subramanian Swamy said the money spent on the advertisements could have been utilised for some other purpose and asked where the money came from.