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Lok Sabha Election: Congress, BJP leaders served notices for misusing defence officers photos in election propaganda

Krishnanand Tripathi
Lok Sabha Election, Election Commission, Defence Officers Photos, Election Propaganda, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman

Lok Sabha Elections 2019! Preventing misuse of photographs of defence personnel by political parties for their election propaganda has become a big challenge for the election officials. Banners and hoardings of politicians along with the images of defence personnel, particularly alongside the photo of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman and martyred CRPF Jawans, have sprung up across the country after Pulwama terror attack and IAF’s bombing of terror camps in Pakistan last month.

As earlier reported by Financial Express Online, one day before the announcement of poll schedule, Election Commission had asked all the recognised political parties to refrain from using these pictures in their election propaganda.

Though the BJP leaders at district and state level were quick to capitalise on the photographs of IAF airstrikes to show Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a strong and decisive leader capable of taking tough action against Pakistan-sponsored terrorism, but later Congress leaders also joined the fray by using defence officers photos for their own advantage.

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In Rajasthan, Congress leaders have been served notices for misusing the photos of defence personnel and military activity in their election propaganda. This is contrary to the stand taken by top Congress leaders like Kapil Sibal and Digvijay Singh who have demanded the proof of IAF airstrikes on terror camps.

District election officer in Rajasthan’s capital Jaipur has issued notice to Congress leader Sunil Sharma, a general secretary in Rajasthan unit, for misusing the photos of defence personnel in violation of election commission’s directive.

In its notice to Congress leader Sunil Sharma, the concerned officer for enforcing the model code of conduct in the city, said: You have depicted the work and images of Indian military alongside your photo and designation which is against the spirit of model code of conduct.

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Similarly, the commission also wrote to Ramcharan Bohara, BJP’s sitting MP in Jaipur, asking him to refrain from using the pictures of defence personnel for his election propaganda.

The commission has show-caused both the leaders, BJP MP Ramcharan Bohara and Congress leader Sunil Sharma, to explain the reasons within three days and refrain from doing so in future.

The district election commission has also asked them to furnish the complete details of numbers of banners printed and the total money spent on them along with the details of the printer.