After Thursday’s announcement from Mukesh Ambani that led telecom stocks on a merry ride down the Sensex graph, Friday morning saw something else altogether.
Delhiites and Mumbaiites woke up to the face of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the newspapers — only, it wasn’t a party advertisement. Nor was it a government advertisement.
Reliance Industries (RI) used Mr. Modi's image on the front page, drawing a connect between the Prime Minister and his Digital India programme to RI’s plans for their new network, Jio.
The advertisement said, "In the journey of time, there come a few life changing moments. Our honourable Prime Minister’s inspiring vision of a Digital India is one such movement. Jio is dedicated to realising our Prime Minister’s Digital India vision for 1.2 billion Indians. Jio Digital Life will give the power of data to each Indian, to fulfill every dream and collectively take India to the global digital leadership…”
Naturally, most wondered if the PM had turned brand ambassador for Jio.
Some took the RTI route:
Others resorted to what they did best: jokes
Narendra Modi is endorsing Reliance Jio. Makes sense for the PM to endorse a brand. Especially for him: since Roaming is free.— Sorabh Pant (@hankypanty) >September 2, 2016
Well, you do know that "I'm Jio'd" is an anagram of Modi-ji. >pic.twitter.com/jKfcLbLpob— Ramesh Srivats (@rameshsrivats) >September 2, 2016
But there was a growing sense of outrage, with twitterati asking both parties to come clean over the matter.
Will Reliance Jio tell us is Narendra Modi their employee or ad model. & >@PMO must tell the country how PM is involved in Jio business— ツSonal ♡ (@SonalMehra_) >September 2, 2016
>@narendramodi Sir are you brand ambassador for Reliance Jio coz today der was big photo of you in TOI front page promoting for Jio— abhinandan (@abhinandanpal88) >September 2, 2016
>@narendramodi , r u the brand ambassador 4 Reliance Jio? Was your pic used w/ ur consent? Do you think its appropriate 2 endorse any brand?— Rahul C Raju (@Rahul_C_Raju) >September 2, 2016