Hyderabad: The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) has turned the city pink with giant sized hoardings and posters boasting the government and its welfare programmes. The city roads are being black-topped overnight. Water supply is improved and electricity is supplied uninterrupted. Though the residents are in for a surprise with the improved services, it's all viewed as a publicity blitzkrieg as the elections to the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) are around the corner.
While the area under GHMC jurisdiction has 2,500 hoardings, the TRS party alone occupied more than 800 hoardings so far. Party sources say that it aims to advertise the welfare programmes of the state government in atleast 1,600 to 1,700 hoardings before the GHMC polls. Prominent cross roads such as Minister Road, Tarnaka, Masab Tank, Lakdi-ka-pul, Begumpet, Sangeet cross roads and Kukatpally have huge hoarding spaces.
The TRS party is said to have paid huge amounts and booked these spaces in advance so that rival parties do not have a chance to advertise on them.
Hoardings: The city and its residents are used to seeing film posters, hoardings from shopping malls and corporate hospitals. Outnumbering and outsizing these commercial advertisements are the TRS party posters now. Major junctions all across the city including bus stands are now wearing a pink look with giant-sized flexies of the TRS party. Featured prominently on all these posters is chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao along with a few prominent party leaders. Although some of the hoardings do highlight the welfare programmes of the state government, the images used in them are either morphed or taken from other events not related to Telangana state nor the government programmes.For instance, the poster highlighting old age pension has senior citizens not from Telangana. The old man picture was taken some time back by an Associated Press photographer in New Delhi during a protest demanding enhancement of old age pension. Similarly, the old woman photographs was lifted from a news item on widows in Vrindavan.
Welfare Programmes: The welfare programmes of the party are being give a prominent place in the advertisement blitz of the TRS. 'Shaadi Mubarak' a financial assistance of Rs. 51,000 to the bride from minority community, old age pensions, farm loans, uninterrupted power supply are being given huge coverage in the TRS advertisements. It is said to be using the services of official machinery such as the Information and Public Relations department without any inhibitions for the advertisement blitzkerg.
Recarpeting Roads: Recarpeting of roads is also being taken up on a war footing. The state government is said to have given the contractors a deadline to complete the recarpeting works before GHMC polls. Consequently, several pot-holed roads are carpeted overnight thereby giving a go by to quality. Roads laid a week ago are already showing pot holes at several junctions.
Warangal Hangover: Political analysts estimate the TRS strategy as a hangover from the huge victory the party won in the Warangal by-poll. The party aims to takeover the Mayor post with a thumping victory and repeat the Warangal win, they said. However, rival parties state that compared to the Warangal elections the city polls are a different cup of tea.
Rivals on Back Foot: While some parties such as the BJP, TDP and Congress are still planning their strategies for the civic polls, the TRS has already gone all out with the outdoor advertisements and turning the city pink.