National

Banner with BJP leaders and Wing Commander Abhinandan: Election Commission warns of action

A banner with photos of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP chief Amit Shah and Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman in Mehrauli area of New Delhi on March 9, 2019.

A banner with photos of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP chief Amit Shah and Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman in Mehrauli area of New Delhi on March 9, 2019.   | Photo Credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Taking cognisance of a political banner bearing Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman’s portrait along with the photographs of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah and others, the Election Commission on Saturday said “strictest action” would be taken in such cases once the Model Code of Conduct was in place.

After the banner’s picture, which is being circulated in the social media, was brought to the notice of the Commission, spokesperson Sheyphali Sharan said: “ECI already has instructions issued on such matters. Once Model Code of Conduct comes in force, Commission will take strictest action in such cases, if the instructions are violated.” The Code comes into effect on the announcement of election schedule.

No to advertisements

The Commission cited a general advisory issued on December 4, 2013, that called upon the political parties, their leaders and candidates to desist from displaying photographs of defence personnel or functions involving them in advertisements, or otherwise, as part of their election propaganda.

“The Ministry of Defence has brought to the notice of the Commission that photographs of the Defence personnel are being used by the political parties, their leaders and candidates in advertisements as part of their election propaganda and requested the Commission to issue suitable instruction in this regard,” said the advisory.

‘Exercise caution’

The Commission, in the advisory, had said that the Armed Forces of a nation are the guardian of its frontiers, security and the political system. They were apolitical and neutral stakeholders in a modern democracy. It was, therefore, necessary that the political parties and leaders exercise great caution while making any reference to the Armed Forces in their political campaigns.

“The Commission is of the view that photographs of Chief of Army Staff or any other Defence personnel and photographs of functions of Defence forces should not be associated with or used in any manner in advertisement/propaganda/campaigning or in any other manner in connection with elections by political parties and candidates,” the EC had said.

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Sep 22, 2020 6:06:42 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/banner-with-bjp-leaders-and-wing-commander-abhinandan-election-commission-warns-of-action/article26483319.ece

Next Story