Keep armed forces out of political campaigns: EC to pol parties

Political parties and candidates cannot use photographs of any defence personnel or functions of the defence forces in their poll advertisements for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, the Election Commission said on Saturday, reiterating its instructions issued in 2013 against such propaganda.

“The ministry of defence has brought to the notice of the Election Commission (EC) that photographs of the defence personnel are being used by political parties, their leaders and candidates in advertisements as part of their election propaganda,” the EC said in a statement.

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The Commission also directed political parties to not uses images of Chief of Army Staff (COAS) or any other defence personnel including photographs of functions of defence forces in propaganda, advertisement or campaigning.

The directive comes at a time when several political parties including the ruling BJP has been continuously referencing the armed forces and the recently conducted air strikes by the Indian Air Force in Balakot of Pakistan.

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