Election Commission

Guwahati, March 10, 2019:

As per directives of the Election Commission, political parties and candidates cannot use photos to promote themselves in advertisements during the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The Election Commission made the statement on Saturday. It is to be mentioned a similar instruction had been issued by the Commission in 2013 also. The order came after a Ministry of Defence complaint.

“The ministry of Defence has brought to the notice of the Election Commission (EC) that photographs of the defence personnel are being used by political parties, their leaders and candidates in advertisements as part of their election propaganda,” the EC said in a statement.

It is to be mentioned Aam Aadmi Party made a direct reference to IAF pilot Abhinandan Varthaman in a recent rally. Photos of the IAF hero, who was captured and then-released by Pakistan, have started propping up here, there and everywhere as political parties are trying to use the hero to gain leverage in the polls. The BJP has also used IAF Fighter Jets in its election posters.

Calling the armed forces “guardians” of a country’s “frontiers, security and political system”, the Election Commission warned the parties against making reference to them in their poll campaigns. “Armed forces are apolitical and neutral stakeholders in a modern democracy. It is, therefore, necessary that the political parties and leaders exercise great caution while making any reference to the armed forces in their political campaigns,” the EC said.

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