Ad Panel row: AAP has used public's money to publicize themselves, says Congress

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

New Delhi [India], Sept. 17 (ANI): With the BB Tandon Committee pulling up the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for "splurging" the exchequer's money on advertisements, the Congress on Saturday hit out at the Delhi Government, accusing them of having using the funds to simply publicize themselves. Speaking to ANI here, Congress leader Ajay Maken questioned the AAP-led Delhi Government's policies behind their expenditure on advertisements across the nation. "BB Tandon Committee has suggested to recover the money used from Aam Admi Party. It is violation of Supreme Court guidelines and apart from this, it is morally wrong. What is the purpose of printing their decision of reducing fees in Delhi schools doing on the front page of Tamil Nadu's newspapers? Why have they used Delhi's tax payers money on the front page of Malayali newspapers in Kerala?," he said. Further accusing the AAP of using the money for their own popularity and political benefit, Maken stated that the Arvind Kejriwal-led party is lying by citing the CAG report propagating that the Delhi government saved 350 Crore in flyovers. "They (AAP) also said that they will make dispensaries worth 5 crore in 20 lakhs only. That is also negated by CAG by stating that it's utterly wrong and they have not given any proof on that. So if they are lying and doing their own publicity in other states, then that money has to be given from AAP, why should Delhi's public money be used," Maken said. "We believe that liability of worth 854 crores has to be made. Same 854 crore rupees should be deposited by Aam Admi Party and with this same amount, 4000 dispensaries can be made or 16 hospitals can be constructed that would be beneficial to the public of Delhi," he added. Earlier, the Centre-appointed committee on content regulation of government advertising under the chairmanship of B.B. Tandon indicted the Delhi government for violating guidelines enlisted by Supreme Court in its order dated May 13, 2015. The Tandon committee directed the state government to fix responsibility, take appropriate action against those responsible and recover the entire expenditure from the AAP, arguing that it was the main beneficiary of these ads. The committee found in the guideline that "government advertising shall maintain political neutrality and avoid glorification of political personalities and projecting a positive impression of the party in power or a negative impression of parties critical of the government" had been violated. The use of ` 'AAP' in ads was seen as a clear violation of the order that "advertisement materials must not mention the party in government by name". The Ad Panel was chaired by former chief election commissioner B B Tandon and had the president of the News Broadcasters Association, Rajat Sharma, and ad man Piyush Pandey as members. (ANI)