Ahmadabad, November 26: The Gujarat unit of the Congress was at the centre of a row on Monday over a picture it used for a poll advertisement on malnutrition in the state amid allegations it was 'lifted' from a website of a Christian organiation depicting a Sri Lankan child.
Gujarat Congress party's 'Join hands for change' advertisements, which appeared in some newspapers and posted on its website claims that 45 per cent of children in the state were malnourished. A photograph in the ad also showed a malnourished child in the arms of a woman.
The social media, however, went abuzz with claims that the picture of the skinny and malnourished baby was, in fact, a victim of flood in Sri Lanka which was lifted from the website of a Christan organisation called Amyand Park Chaple (amyand.com) with one pro-Bharatiya Janata Party website even providing the link to view the original picture.
Finding itself in an awkward situation, the Congress in an effort to counter the BJP charge, alleged that the ruling party was deflecting the main issue of malnutrition.
"The photograph is symbolic and rather than focussing on the picture, the BJP should counter the figures given in the advertisement," said Siddharth Patel, in-charge of Gujarat state Congress' poll campaign while talking to newsmen.
"Around 45 per cent of children in Gujarat are malnourished. Can the BJP deny this fact," Patel asked.
The advertisement says, "Visit any community health centre or primary health centre, it is the same picture where staff is missing, be it specialist, doctors or support staff..
The BJP has seized the opportunity to take on the Congress, calling the poll ad a "dishonest campaign".