The Uttar Pradesh government today ran a frontpage ad in the Times of India, highlighting the state's vaccination drive. Here’s the interesting bit: every single edition of the newspaper, from Mumbai to Kochi, carried the ad, not just the Lucknow edition.
The ad carries pictures of chief minister Adityanath and prime minister Narendra Modi getting vaccinated and their statements about Uttar Pradesh’s “commendable” fight against Covid. The ad urges people to get vaccinated, with an unmissable slogan “Protect Uttar Pradesh” in bold red letters.
This provokes the question: what relevance does this ad have for people living outside Uttar Pradesh? Why would a resident of Goa share a video on Instagram with the hashtag #ProtectUP?
The public relations exercise drawing attention to the “accomplishments” of the Uttar Pradesh government and the manner in which it is preparing for a possible third wave of the pandemic isn’t featured in other leading dailies such as the Indian Express, Hindu, Hindustan Times or Telegraph, at least not on Wednesday. It is also missing from the frontpages of Hindi dailies such as Dainik Bhaskar and Dainik Jagan.
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