Madhya Pradesh: Rs. 14 Crore Govt. Ads Given To Dodgy Websites Run By Journalists & Their Relatives

The Logical Indian

May 9th, 2016

News, Image Source: indianexpress

The Indian Express has found out through an investigation that the Madhya Pradesh government has given out at least Rs 14 crore as advertisements for over four years to 234 websites, many of which are run by relatives of state-based journalists.

Each of these websites has received advertisements ranging from Rs 10,000 to Rs 21.7 lakh. The websites have been identified in a list prepared by the government for 2012-15 in response to a question in the state Assembly by Congress MLA Bala Bachchan.

Information that has been gathered by The Indian Express:

  • At least 26 websites received government advertisements worth Rs 10 lakh or more. At least 18 of these websites are run by journalists or relatives of journalists.
  • At least 81 websites got advertisements worth Rs 5 to 10 lakh
  • At least 33 of these websites are being run from government-allotted accommodation in Bhopal
  • Many of the websites such as http://www.failaan.com (Rs 18.70 lakh), http://www.deshbhakti. com (Rs 8.75 lakh), http://www.rashtrawad.com (Rs 8.25 lakh), http://www.citychowk.com (Rs 11.90 lakh) and http://www.prakalp.org (Rs 10.60 lakh), are listed under different names but were carrying the same content when The Indian Express first started to contact them for reactions on April 19. The listed addresses of http://www.failaan.com (Prakhar Agnihotri) and http://www.indiannews&view.com (Rs. 8.75 lakh, Rajesh Agnihotri) are the same.

A journalist at a local news channel, Rakesh Agnihotri, has confirmed that Prakhar and Rajesh are related to him.

  • Most of the websites have not provided any contact details under the ‘About Us’ or ‘Contact Us’ section.

Anupam Rajan, the commissioner for public relations, Madhya Pradesh, has said that money was provided to popularise these websites as a part of a new medium, without considering who runs these websites. They have now revised their rule and advertisements are being given by checking whether websites are working or not and the number of hits are also seen.

Congress MLA Bala Bachchan has raised a question that why are advertisements being given to websites of people associated with the BJP and some journalists?

The website mpnewsonline is run by Mini Sharma, a school teacher, who is also the wife of Gireesh Sharma, resident editor of Bhopal of The Pioneer. This website, without having any contact details, received advertisements worth Rs 17 lakh from the government between 2012 and 2015. Sharma said that his wife is  not doing anything illegal.

The website that received the highest advertisement worth Rs 21.70 lakh in under the name of Ashwini Rai, who told The Indian Express that he works for BJP but not associated with the website.

Share your thoughts..

Propelled by

adidas

Shoes Made From Recycled Ocean Plastic

Related Stories

Over Rs 4,300 Crore Spent On Ads & Publicity By BJP Govt At Centre In Last 4 Years: RTI

Another Aadhaar Data Leak From AP Website Reveals Bank Details, Phone Numbers, Religion Of 1.3 Lakh People

Fake Certificate

Delhi Police Busts Fake Degree Racket Where 50,000 Forged Certificates Were Sold

engineer

Pune: Engineer Duped Of Rs 2 Lakh In A Matrimonial Fraud By Woman

What Would The Internet Be Like Without Net Neutrality? Portugal Is An Example

Aadhaar

210 State And Central Govt Websites Expose Aadhaar Card Holders’ Details: Centre To Lok Sabha

Latest on The Logical Indian

News

Activist Piyush Manush Protesting Against Salem Highway Arrested For Alleged “Provocative” Statement

Get Inspired

This Organisation Is Building Libraries All Over The Country, Now In Nagaland & You Can Help

News

Legal Notice Received And Opened On WhatsApp Is Now A Valid Evidence: Bombay HC

News

Kerala: Junior Police Officials Can No Longer Be Used For Seniors’ Personal Service

News

Airtel Controversy Is One Of The Examples Of ‘Bigotry’ On Display

News

Australian Court Fines Apple $9 Million For Misleading iPhone And iPad Owners