The Uttar Pradesh government on Sunday faced a backlash on social media for using what appeared to be a photo of a Kolkata flyover in one of its advertisements.
The advertisement, titled “Transforming Uttar Pradesh under Adityanath” and published in The Indian Express, showed Chief Minister Adityanath towering over a collage of what was depicted as the state’s infrastructure projects.
Twitter users were quick to point out that the flyover shown in the advertisement was actually situated in West Bengal’s capital city. They also spotted one of Kolkata’s iconic yellow taxis on the road in the image.
Soon after, The Indian Express tweeted that the advertisement was produced by the newspaper’s own marketing department, and apologised for “inadvertently” using a “wrong image”.
Social media users and members of the Trinamool Congress have criticised the advertisement for “stealing” an image.
“Dear Adityanath ji, whoever approved these images, please do tell them the flyover appears to be from Kolkata – the Maa Flyover,” journalist Alok Pandey said in a tweet. “And those tall buildings are the JW Marriot, also in Kolkata and by the same flyover if I am not mistaken.”
Activist and Trinamool Congress leader Saket Gokhale asked: “Transforming UP means spending millions on newspaper ads around India and stealing pics of development in Kolkata?”
Another Twitter user claimed that the picture of the flyover was lifted from the Trinamool Congress’ website.
“Transforming UP for Adityanath means stealing images from infrastructure seen in Bengal under Mamata Banerjee’s leadership and using them as his own!” the Trinamool Congress’ National General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee tweeted.
He added: “Looks like the double engine model has miserably in BJP’s strongest state and now stands exposed for all.”
Mukul Roy, who quit the Bharatiya Janata Party in June to return to the Trinamool Congress, took the opportunity to criticise Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“Mr Narendra Modi is so helpless to save his party that other than changing CMs [chief ministers], he has also had to resort to using pictures of growth and infrastructure seen under Mamata Banerjee’s leadership as his own,” Roy said in a tweet.
Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra advised the Uttar Pradesh government to hire another advertisement agency.
West Bengal minister Firhad Hakim also criticised the saffron party. “Previously BJP used photos from failures of law and order of their states to spread misinformation about West Bengal,” he said in a tweet. “Now they use photos of the flyover built under the leadership of Mamata Banerjee to advertise for the development in UP.”
Aam Aadmi Party leader Sanjay Singh tweeted: “Never heard or seen such development. Our CM Adityanath ji brought a flyover from Kolkata to Lucknow.”