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Maharashtra govt to launch year-long media blitzkrieg soon

Aims to revive image amid charges of scams and inaction

Sanjay Jog  |  Mumbai 

R R Patil & Prithviraj Chavan

Amid strong allegations against burgeoning corruption and inaction, the Congress-NCP government in Maharashtra proposes to soon launch a media blitzkrieg. The government is keen to launch the proposed advertisement campaign till next assembly elections slated for September-October next year. All the departments have been asked to prepare people-friendly advertisement campaign by roping in leading ad and media agencies and launch it explaining the state government's pro-people and development decisions and a slew of programmes.

Besides, the proposed campaign will also explain the government's efforts to implement various programmes of the Centre including the Bharat Nirman, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Scheme, Prime Minister's Sadak Yojana, Sarva Shikha Abhiyan and National Health Mission. Moreover, the benefits of food security scheme will be prominently projected in Maharashtra considering some new steps including replacement of existing ration cards by smart cards to 2.5crore rationa card holders.

A senior Congress minister, who did not want to be identified, told Business Standard "The Congress-NCP is ruling the state since 1999 onwards. Naturally, we will have to effectively weather the anti incumbency factor. This can be done by reaching out to the people through press and media and also by use of social media. The state government has launched a slew of schemes in the field of water conservation, industrialization, infrastructure development, supply of vegetables at concessional rates, increase the human development index especially in the less developed districts." The minister, however, admitted that the government has to refute charges of various scams including multi crore irrigation scam, misappropriation of funds in the implementation of women and child welfare schemes and tribal development schemes.

The minister opined that proposed media blitzkrieg will be a serious attempt to revive government's image while taking a due advantage of weak opposition.

On the other hand, the NCP minister said "Incidentally, ministries currently occupied by NCP ministers are under attack. However, some of the Congress led ministries are also being targeted by opposition and NGOs. But when it comes to the state government both the parties will have to collectively tackle the issue. Therefore, the advertizement campaign is planned to explain government's good work having long term impact in increasing development to a new high." NCP minister however, admitted that the social media including face book, twitter, you tube will have to be extensively used especially to reach out to the younger population.

Meanwhile, an executive of a leading advertizement and public relations company said he along with executives and employees to other such agencies have started making presentations to the respective ministries to work out the nature and the scope of the advertizement campaign.

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First Published: Sat, July 13 2013. 21:38 IST