Apr 17 2014 | 3:00 PM


Who: TheCitizen | What: Politics
Where: New Delhi | WHEN: April 17th, 2014 , 3:00PM
By SEEMA MUSTAFA Wed Apr 16, 2014

NEW DELHI: In a system where the effort of stakeholders has become to manage consent, and propagate it through the media as national consensus, it was not surprising for The Citizen to learn that the recent poll by NDTV giving 230 seats to the BJP and a full majority to the NDA was conducted by Hansa Public Relations whose former CEO Tushar Panchal is currently head of Services to Government practice for APCO Worldwide in India.

APCO worldwide is the US multinational widely credited for not just creating and pushing the Vibrant Gujarat project but also for the promotion and marketing of brand Narendra Modi.

Tushar Panchal joined APCO worldwide in 2011 straight from a two year stint as CEO in Hansa Public Relations which is part of the RK Swamy Hansa Group, crediting itself with “an exceptional track record of helping build clients businesses” as a “leading advertising and marketing services organisation.”

Panchal now in position as Senior Director in APCO Worldwide “manages key relationships with various state governments across the country.” The website describes him as “one of the few communication consultants in the country today, who can provide 360 degree communication and branding solution to governments and heads of states.”

Interestingly Panchal was largely educated in Gujarat, completing Business Administration in Marketing from MS University in Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency Vadodara. He did his MDP in Business Management, from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and now has 19 solid years of experience behind him in well known companies.

Hansa Public Relations shot into media prominence just recently with the poll that has surpassed most others by giving the BJP and Narendra Modi a good 230 seats in these elections. This is still being discussed in Delhi’s drawing rooms, as it has upped the ante significantly for Modi and the BJP projecting them in the seat of power even before half of India has voted in these elections. Hansa and NDTV join a series of polls on Indian television steadily increasing the numbers for Modi in the ongoing Lok Sabha polls.

The Citizen reported on April 10 about APCO’s interest in Modi. It listed significant individuals from India and other countries in APCO’s list of high powered consultants, including Indian former foreign secretary Lalit Mansingh.

The Citizen report stated, “APCO is a high powered company that has played an influential role, from all accounts, across the world in shaping destinies and political outcomes. It has a virtual who’s who list of consultants with the Indian presence being marked by former foreign secretary who was also the Ambassador to the US after retirement Lalit Mansingh. Mansingh is on its International Advisory Council. In what is seen as a related and even more high powered appointment directed at the Indian market is the appointment of former US ambassador to India Tim Roemer as APCO’s Cice President. He is assigned to APCO’s Global Political strategies and international advisory council groups.

The list of consultants includes former US secretary of energy and governor of New Mexico Bill Richardson, former US Ambassador to Spain and Andorra Eduardo Aguirre, former Minister of Netherlands Laurens Jan Brinkhorst, former US secretary of Agriculture Daniel Glickman, former national security advisor to President George W.Bush, Stephen Hadley; former UK secretary of state for defence John Hutton, former Afghanistan ambassador to the US Said T.Jawad, former president of Ghana John Kufuor, former president of Poland Aleksander Kwasniewski, former Sri Lankan ambassador to the US Devinda R Subasinghe, former Israeli ambassador Shimon Stein and others. The list is specific covering key areas and countries.”

The Indian Express had carried a report last year quoting an RTI query that spoke of APCO’s role in setting up a Friends of Gujarat with journalists and others to be identified as Ambassadors for Gujarat. Interestingly, reports suggest that APCO had been involved in promoting the rather infamous Kazakhstan president Nursultan Nazarbayev through a Friends of Kazakhstan group. And it is also credited with supporting pro-war lobbies and playing a post-war role in Iraq.


The Citizen is India’s first independent online daily offering in-depth news analysis from key experts. We offer a combination of news and views, with behind-the-news factual pieces on the headlines being accompanied by exclusive stories, features and opinion pieces.


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