'Stop using photos of defence personnel'

The election commission of India has issued an advisory asking political parties not to use photographs of any defence personnel in their advertisements for the upcoming elections.

In a communication addressed to heads of all recognised national and state political parties, the ECI stated that the ministry of defence has brought to its notice that the photographs of the defence personnel are being used by political parties in advertisements as part of their election propaganda.

The 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” and “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 commission said it was 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.