The Uttar Pradesh government has caught officials in Gujarat unaware by launching an aggressive media campaign projecting UP as the best destination for investment at the ongoing Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) and ahead of the Vibrant Gujarat Summit.
"A thousand doors to success open here: because Uttar Pradesh is an attractive destination for investment," reads the four-page advertisement which appeared in all prominent Gujarat-based newspapers.
Its not only in the print media that the state is projecting itself as a hub for infrastructural investment, education and other projects, a drive has also been launched on radio with a campaign called UP Calling.
Officials are flummoxed by the massive media campaign by UP at a time when Gujarat is set to host global leaders like UN secretary general, US secretary of state, senior ministers from UK, the Netherlands, Australia, Singapore, South Africa and other countries and institutions like World Bank, International Monetary Fund and Asian Development Bank at the three-day Vibrant Gujarat Summit from January 11.
"We are really surprised and concerned at the same time. The issue was discussed at the highest political level in the morning," a senior Gujarat government official told HT.
Prior to the ad campaign, posters and billboards with images of chief minister Akhilesh Yadav promoting UP Rising had sprung up across main roads like CG Road, Airport Road, Ashram Road and other strategic locations and streets of Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar.
Unaware of the sudden attack by the UP government, the Gujarat government had reportedly instructed authorities like Municipal Corporation to remove the posters and billboards put up by the publicity wing of the Akhilesh administration.
"We are marketing our state with initiatives taken by the government for facilitation of investment in various sectors," advisor to UP government on NRI affairs, Madhukar Jaitely, told reporters in Ahmedabad.
He also took objection to the "highhandedness of the Gujarat authorities in removing publicity the posters."
"The Gujarat government has been talking about the Ahmedabad Metro project for over a decade now while the UP government is already implementing it in Lucknow and planning similar projects for other four cities including Varanasi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's constituency," said Jaitley taking a dig at the Anandiben Patel administration.