Bangalore: A coloured photograph of a man smiling into the camera heralded the BJP's commitment to farmers in Karnataka. The ad was part of the party's campaign for the panchayat elections scheduled for later this month.
A grossly insensitive mistake, as it turns out. The family of Nagaraju from a village about 80 km from Bangalore the Mandya district says he killed himself in 2009 after he was unable to pay off massive debts. He left behind a wife and two young children who are in school.
"He died one and a half year ago. Our relatives are coming and asking if he is still alive," says Bhavya, his daughter.
The Opposition says the ad proves how little the government is in touch with the state's farmers. "Does the chief minister have any concern? You can know the government's true colours are looking at that ad," says HD Kumaraswamy of the JD(S).
The government says it is looking into the matter. "We will take necessary steps to see that it is corrected if it is wrong," says Chandra Gowda, a BJP MP.