Under the RTI Act, a piece of vital information was revealed. The ‘Mann ki Baat’ program is addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the amount spent on the one-day message to the nation cost Rs 8.30 crore. Mumbai-based activist Anil Galgali had filed the application with the information. When it was asked that who created the advertisements, Ravi Rama Krishna, Department of Advertising and Visual Publicity Director said that the DAVP has made the campaign content and that no outside agency’s help was taken. While responding to a query on who decides when PM Modi will address the nation, the DAVP chief said, “Whenever a need arises, competent officers take the decision based on three parameters- occasion, the importance of the day, and requirement”.
Criticism From Opposition Parties
The opposition parties have highly criticized the ‘Mann ki Baat’ show due to the advertisement expenditure. Rashid Alvi of the Indian National Congress quipped that the PM should host the show daily to help boost the ailing economy of India. In October 2017, an RTI revealed that Modi’s administration has spent a whopping Rs 3,754 crore in three and half years. It is estimated that the yearly budget allocated to the government’s flagship programs is less than the amount spent on publicly blitz.
Rs 8.5 Crore Spent on Newspaper Ads for PM’s ‘Mann ki Baat’
For PM Modi’s ‘Mann ki Baat’, the Union Government spent Rs 8.5 crore on the newspaper ads. Mulk Raj Anand, Rajasthan state media coordinator sought the information. Till July 29, 2015, the Government had spent Rs 8,54,783 on the newspaper ads for ‘Mann ki Baat’. Anand said in a major report, “The BJP says that the Kejriwal government is wasting public money on advertisements. But these Rs 8.5 crore were spent only on one show meant for the publicity of the PM. And that too only on newspaper ads. The central government’s total expenditure on advertisements would be much, much higher”.