Not a single penny spent to advertise Shastri's message

New Delhi (PTI): Government has spent not a single penny on spreading the famous "Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan" message of late Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri on his birthday, coinciding with that of Mahatma Gandhi, in any newspaper.

Shastri, who maintained a low profile -- be it in life or in death, could not enthuse the government in spreading his message as an RTI reply revealed that no amount was sanctioned by the Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP) to spread this message.

According to the reply given by Mattu J P Singh of DAVP to an RTI application filed by activist Dev Ashish Bhattacharya, while the department, incharge of official publicity, spent Rs 2.95 crore on highlighting Gandhi's message in various newspapers, "no advertisements were issued by DAVP to spread the message of Shastri on his birthday.

"No advertisements were issued by DAVP for other ministries on the late Prime Minister," the reply said.

In another query related to the functions held at the Vijay Ghat this year, an Assistant Engineer of Central Public Works Department informed in his reply that President Pratibha Patil and other Central Ministers did attend the function.

The RTI applicant had also sought to know whether as per records, Shastri was a freedom fighter.

However, the Director, Home Ministry Rita Acharya, while remaining silent on the freedom fighter issue, said " per our records, Shastri was Prime Minister of India from June nine, 1964 to January 11, 1966".

The Hindu News Update Service