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Desist From Using Pictures Of Defence Personnel In Election Campaign: EC To Political Parties

Advisory was issued after reports emerged about BJP leaders using Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman's photographs in their campaigns.
People wear masks in the likeness of Indian Air Force pilot Abhinandan Varthaman and hold Bharatiya Janata Party flags during a rally in New Delhi, India, on Saturday, March 2, 2019.
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People wear masks in the likeness of Indian Air Force pilot Abhinandan Varthaman and hold Bharatiya Janata Party flags during a rally in New Delhi, India, on Saturday, March 2, 2019.

NEW DELHI―The Election Commission Of India (ECI) on Saturday issued an advisory to all political parties asking them to desist from using photographs of defence personnel as part of their election propaganda.

“It has been brought to the notice of the Commission that some political parties are using the photographs of the Defence personnel in advertisements as part of their political campaigns,” an advisory released on February 9 to the “President/Chairperson/General Secretary” of all recognised national and state parties by the ECI said.

The advisory then quoted from a letter dated December 4, 2013 to all political parties asking them to “advise their candidates/leaders to desist from displaying photographs of defence personnel or photographs of functions involving defence personnel in advertisements, or otherwise as part of their election propaganda/campaigning”.

Having quoted from the 2013 letter, the ECI advisory in its March 9, 2019 communication to the political parties stated that it “reiterates the above instruction for strict compliance”.

While releasing the advisory, ECI’s official spokesperson Sheyphali Sharan tweeted, “General advisory issued again to political parties to advise their candidates/leaders to desist from displaying photos of defence personnel or photos of functions involving defence personnel in advertisements or otherwise as part of their election propaganda/campaigning”.

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