On July 11, the Telugu Desam Party government in Andhra Pradesh headed by N Chandrababu Naidu issued advertisements in all the newspapers in the state, besides putting up hoardings across the state for the launch of much-hyped Anna Canteens, providing full meal to the people at Rs 5 a plate.
So far so good. But the advertisement has a big goof up that landed Naidu and his publicity managers in the most embarrassing situation.
One of the pictures used in the advertisement was actually that of a similar canteen launched by YSR Congress party MLA Alla Ramakrishna Reddy from Mangalagiri assembly constituency in Guntur district on May 14 2017.
The picture, showing a Muslim and another person with a towel on his shoulder having lunch at the opposition MLA’s canteen, was taken by the MLA’s followers.
He launched “Rajanna Canteens” in Mangalagiri in memory of late Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y S Rajasekhar Reddy and offered a plate of meal for Rs 4. The entire expenditure for the subsidised meal is being borne by the MLA.
Naidu launched the first Anna Canteen in June 2016 on the premises of state secretariat at Velagapudi. It was named after TDP founder and former chief minister N T Rama Rao who was fondly called Anna. Now, these Anna Canteens have been expanded to different parts of the state.
The Information and Public Relations Department issued front page advertisements in all the local dailies and also put up hoardings across the state as part of publicity.
But what it did not realise was that one of the pictures used for publicity was related to the “Rajanna Canteens” launched by the YSRC MLA in Mangalagiri.
Obviously, the advertising agency which designed the ad found the picture taken from internet more interesting because it had a Muslim and since the TDP is now trying to woo Muslims, the agency thought it was more apt. But it failed to verify from where the picture had come.