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Credit war over poll slogan

A day after the BJP announced its slogan - Mehangi padi Congress - for the Delhi poll campaign, a tussle broke out over claiming the credit for authoring it. HT Correspondent reports.
By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
UPDATED ON OCT 31, 2008 12:05 AM IST

A day after the BJP announced its slogan - Mehangi padi Congress - for the Delhi poll campaign, a tussle broke out over claiming the credit for authoring it.

Mukhesh Gupta, head of Graphisads, an agency that has done ad campaign work for the BJP previously, issued a press release to claim that the slogan was his organisation’s creation. He alleged the slogan was “stolen” by a rival agency, The Hive. He also accused the BJP of practising favouritism.

Sushil Pandit of The Hive denied the allegation and said, “There is no question of stealing anyone’s work. In fact, Graphisads refused to make a presentation. Hence, there is no question of stealing their ideas.”

Pandit said Arun Jaitely, who is in charge of the Delhi campaign of the party, would not allow any irregularity in the selection process. Besides, he said Graphisads had refused to make any presentation before Jaitely.

Gupta, who is close to Sudanshu Mittal who was active when late Pramod Mahajan handled the campaign, said the Delhi Pradesh BJP had called a few selected advertising agencies to show their talent to the top brass of the BJP including V.K. Malhotra, Arun Jaitley, Harshvardhan and other leaders.

“Pandit who runs The Hive was also asked to be a part of the presentation. All the agencies presented their creative ideas, which were also shared with Pandit. He stole the slogans of other agencies and developed ideas to impress the BJP,” Gupta said.

He said in one of the ads the slogan was ‘Congress, Tum Bahut Mehangi Padi’.

“Copying this slogan, Pandit created the slogan ‘Mehangi Padi Congress’ and took advantage of his proximity to Jaitely,” Gupta alleged.

Pandit said, “In fact we had used the Mehangi Padi slogan in Karnataka elections in April this year where we had given out an ad in the Bangalore edition of Rajasthan Patrika. Therefore, they cannot claim we have stolen the slogan.”

He added, “It is a case of grapes gone sour. I never sat in any presentation and went by the ideas given by Jaitely to create our own slogan. The BJP wanted freshness in the slogan, and that’s how ours was chosen.”

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