8 million LED bulb bloomerIn BJP ad - Boast comes before lights

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  • Published 7.02.15


New Delhi, Feb. 6: After the Northeast "immigrant" typo and the black money " jumla" comes another BJP bloomer - of eight million LED bulbs.

A full-page advertisement splashed in newspapers across the capital today listed the distribution of eight million high-efficiency LED bulbs to 140,000 citizens as one of the many achievements of the Narendra Modi regime.

That would mean 57 bulbs for each person. The reality, however, is that not a single bulb has been handed out yet and distribution is slated to begin in March.

Coming a day before the Delhi elections, the ad - dominated by a picture of Modi, with chief minister candidate Kiran Bedi prominently featured - has left the BJP with egg on its face.

Sources said government officials were scrambling to find out how such a "gaffe" could have happened, especially since the matter for the ad was apparently provided by the PMO to the BJP's Delhi unit that issued it.

The ad, which pitches the BJP as the best party to run Delhi, says: "80 lakhs LED bulbs have been distributed to 1.4 lakh citizens, resulting in 88% reduction in electricity consumption and saving costs".

On January 5, Modi had launched a scheme to distribute LED bulbs under a domestic efficient lighting programme in Delhi and a national programme for LED-based home and street lighting.

"The ad was issued by the party's Delhi unit but the information listing the government's achievements was provided by the PMO directly," an information and broadcasting ministry official said.

"A report on the mistake and related discussions on social media has been prepared and submitted to I&B minister Arun Jaitley and the PMO."

Over the last two days, the BJP has been skewered on social media after a sub-heading in its vision document dubbed people from the Northeast "immigrants" and BJP boss Amit Shah said Modi's words on bringing back black money was a " jumla" - a statement not to be taken too seriously.

The Aam Aadmi Party today grabbed the chance to attack the BJP, wondering why it had begun releasing last-minute "jokes".

"They are so nervous they don't know what they are saying or doing. One, they should explain where the money to spend on all these ads is coming from. Two, why are they coming up with such casual remarks one after another?" a spokesperson asked.

Senior Congress leader Pawan Kumar Bansal tweeted: "A full front-page BJP ad says 80 lakh LED bulbs distributed by Central govt. to 1.40 lakh citizens. It works to over 55 bulbs per person!!"

A power ministry official said bulb distribution in 100 cities would start in March. "The cost of an LED bulb will be Rs 130 through this programme against the open market price of Rs 350-600."