The Election Commission of India Saturday issued an advisory to political parties asking them not to use photographs of any Defence personnel in their advertisements for the upcoming elections.
In a communication to heads of all recognized National and State Political Parties, ECI stated that the Ministry of Defence has brought to the notes of the commission that the photographs of the Defense personnel are being used by the political parties in advertisements as part of their election propaganda and asked them to refrain from such acts.
ECI observed that armed forces of a nation are the guardians of its frontiers, security and the political system and 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 communication reads.
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 Commission called upon all the political parties to advise their candidates/leaders to desist from displaying photographs of Defence personnel or photographs of functions involving Defence personnel in the advertisement, or otherwise as part of their election propaganda/campaigning.