December 9, 2013 2:28:28 am
The Election Commission of India has asked political parties to desist from displaying photographs of Defence personnel in election propaganda,in advertisements,posters or otherwise.
This comes after the Madhya Pradesh Congress complained to President of India,Ministry of Defence and Election Commission that the BJP used photographs of Army Chief Bikram Singh in a poll-related advertisement,sources said. The advisory came on December 4 when the last of the recent Assembly polls in five states was being held in Delhi. With results in four states,including Madhya Pradesh,out on Sunday,the advisory would be for elections to be held next,including the Lok Sabha polls in a few months.
The Commission sent the advisory to all recognised parties after the Ministry of Defence brought it to its notice that photographs of Defence personnel were used by political parties in poll advertisements.
The Ministry requested the Commission to issue suitable instructions. The advisory asked political parties to issue instructions to candidates,leaders and cadres to ensure compliance.
In the letter to political parties,EC principal secretary K Ajay Kumar stated that Armed Forces are guardians of the nations frontiers,security and polity and are collectively apolitical and neutral stakeholders in a democracy.
It is,therefore,necessary that political parties and leaders exercise caution while making references to Armed forces in political campaigns, stated Kumars letter,which added that the Commission was of the view that photographs of functions of Chief of Army Staff or other defence personnel and functions of Defence forces should not be associated with or used in any manner in advertisements and campaigns.
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