Haryana govt glorified then CM Hooda, spent Rs 90 lakh on TV ads: CAG report
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in its audit report tabled in the assembly on Wednesday said video clips in the name of – ‘Hoodaji Ka Haryana’ and ‘Mhara CM Sahib’ – were telecast by various television channels during July-August 2014.india Updated: Mar 15, 2018 12:52 IST
The Haryana government indulged in personal glorification of the then chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda by spending over Rs 90 lakh on advertisements for television channels.
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in its audit report tabled in the assembly on Wednesday said video clips in the name of – ‘Hoodaji Ka Haryana’ and ‘Mhara CM Sahib’ – were telecast by various television channels during July-August 2014.
“Both these television clips referred to Haryana government as Hooda ji Ka Haryana and referred specifically to “Hooda” at number of places attributing achievements of the state government to his personal endeavors,’’ the audit report pointed out.
The guidelines on content regulation of government advertising stipulate that advertisement material should be objective and not directed at promoting political interests of ruling parties. It also stipulated that government advertising should maintain political neutrality and avoid glorification of political personalities. It also stipulated that advertisements must not mention the party in power by name or include party symbol, logo or flag.
The information and public relations department in its reply to the auditors said that television ads were not released for the benefit of any individual but were regarding public welfare scheme and development activities of the government.
“The name of the former chief minister was used being the chief minister of the state. The jingles were not aimed to benefit any individual,’’ the reply said.
The CAG however said that reply was not convincing as the ads projected the government’s achievements as a personal endeavor of the former chief minister. This was against the principles laid down by the Supreme Court.
The auditors in their conclusion said that advertisements and publicity campaigns funded from public exchequer should be related to the government’s responsibilities and be explicitly directed at informing the public about its programmes, policies, services and initiatives.