The Telegraph
Tuesday , November 27 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
CIMA Gallary

Cong ad ruckus

Ahmedabad, Nov. 26: A Congress poll advertisement on malnutrition in Gujarat has stoked a row with the revelation that the picture shown is of a malnourished child from Sri Lanka.

Party spokesperson Ami Yagnik admitted the charge but argued this was irrelevant and should not deflect attention from the main issue — that nearly 45 per cent of the state’s children are malnourished.

“The idea was to show a malnourished child. It is just symbolic. We could have put the picture of a Gujarati malnourished child; we chose not to…. A malnourished child, be it in Somalia, Sri Lanka or Gujarat, looks similar,” she said.

However, the picture gaffe has given the BJP a chance to deny the seriousness of Gujarat’s malnutrition problem and demand an apology from the Congress for its “campaign based on lies”.

Yagnik’s explanation reeks of the Congress’s “double standards”, BJP national spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said.

She cited how the Congress had two years ago slammed chief minister Narendra Modi for a similar picture mismatch. In a drive to project the empowerment of Gujarati Muslims, the Modi government had used pictures of Muslim girls from Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh) sitting before computers.

Soon after the Congress ad was published, the social media was abuzz with claims that the skinny child shown was a Lankan flood victim and the picture had been lifted from the website of the Amyand Park Chapel.

A state BJP spokesperson claimed the ad was proof of the Congress tendency to “malign Gujarat by spreading lies”.