Indian Express issues stunning apology after Yogi Adityanath faces ridicule for ‘stealing’ photo from Kolkata to claim Uttar Pradesh’s development in newspaper ad

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Indian Express on Sunday issued a stunning apology after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath faced brutal ridicule for using a photo from Kolkata to claim Uttar Pradesh’s development in a newspaper advertisement.

The front page ad of Indian Express showed Adityanath waving at people in the backdrop of a photo of high-rises and a flyover. The caption screamed, “Transforming Uttar Pradesh under Yogi Adityanath.”

But the newspaper ad did not go down well netizens, who were quick to highlight that the image used was not from Uttar Pradesh. They pointed out how this was a flyover connecting Kolkata to the Dum Dum airport. Others highlighted the presence of a yellow cab, which is identified with Kolkata. The tall building showed in the photo, they said, were of two five-star hotels situated along the EM Bypass in Kolkata.

Indian Express too faced criticism for allowing the use of a fake photo by Adityanath. Faced with condemnation, Indian Express issued an extraordinary apology as it tweeted, “A wrong image was inadvertently included in the cover collage of the advertorial on Uttar Pradesh produced by the marketing department of the newspaper. The error is deeply regretted and the image has been removed in all digital editions of the paper.”

Uttar Pradesh goes to polls next year with Adityanath making desperate attempts to woo his voters by convincing them about his development works. His critics have long accused him of focussing on pushing his divisive communal agenda instead of creating new infrastructure in the state. Uttar Pradesh was one of the worst-affected states during the second phase of the pandemic when hundreds of dead bodies were found to be floating in river Ganga. Adityanath’s administration was forced to bury them alongside the river after photos and videos of floating dead bodies went viral.