Political Impression | Even SC can’t stop Kejriwal from using exchequer money for personal publicity

It was way back in May 2015 that the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, in a historic judgment held that taxpayers’ money cannot be spent to build “personality cults” of political leaders. 

However, the directives of the apex court are being flouted with impunity under its very nose in Delhi by none other than Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal who has used Radio and Television channels and various other mediums for his self-promotion.  

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A whopping Rs 526 crore has been spent by the Aam Aadmi Party Government in Delhi on advertising. Ironically, the Supreme Court had restrained ruling parties from publishing photographs of political leaders or prominent persons in government-funded advertisements. The apex court had said such photos divert attention from the policy of the government, unnecessarily associate an individual with a government project and pave the way for cultivating a “personality cult”.

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How Arvind Kejriwal Government spent the funds from public exchequer on CM’s own promotion is shocking as the Supreme Court judgement makes exception only in case of the photos of only three constitutional authorities – Prime Minister, President and Chief Justice of India – can be used in such ads. But for that too, the personal approval of these three authorities need to be got before publication.

Either Aam Aadmi Party is unaware of the Supreme Court judgement or it has feigned ignorance of it. The fact is that the judgment by a bench of justices Ranjan Gogoi and N.V. Ramana came on the basis of a series of recommendations given by its own committee led by noted legal academician N.S. Madhava Menon on introducing checks on government-funded ads. The committee was formed in April 2014 on a PIL filed by NGO Common Cause had argued that ruling party leaders and ministers were taking undue advantage at public expenses.

The way Arvind Kejriwal Government in Delhi is using State Exchequer for self aggrandisement; it appears Aam Aadmi Party can stoop to any level to gain publicity and to perpetuate its rule in Delhi and try to spread its wings in other parts of the country. The kingpin Kejriwal is known to use and exploit all systems, all people and their emotions to reach to the top.

The very purpose seems to be three fold-to use state funds for self promotion, to defy directions of High Constitutional bodies like the Supreme Court of India to prove a point that AAP is above everyone and that all is fair in love and war.

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