India’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is under fire for using photos of Indian pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman in its election posters.
According to Indian media reports, a banner carrying photographs of BJP chief Amit Shah, other party candidates with Abhinandan surfaced in Delhi’s Mehrauli area on Saturday, with the catchphrases, ‘Modi Hai Toh Mumkin Hai’ and ‘NaMo Again’, leading the Indian Election Commission to issue an advisory.
Is BJP allowed to use Abhinandan in its posters? This is Delhi, not some far-flung corner of India. I covered BJP election rallies in Haryana after Kargil when a serving soldier gave speeches. Slippery slope to politics & military. Enough examples in South Asia to be wary of. pic.twitter.com/DVqz18zA7e
— rama lakshmi (@RamaNewDelhi) March 9, 2019
After pictures of the poster went viral, the Indian Defence Ministry brought the matter to the notice of the election commission, which asked the political parties not to use photographs of defence personnel in posters used for poll campaigning.
What is nonsense? As shared by @danvir_chauhan sir.Till what extent you will drag the #ArmedForces for political agenda? Admiral Ramdas is correct in his request to election commission to put a stop to misuse of Indian Armed forces and its acts. Pls @PMOIndia pic.twitter.com/GGkdf9XlhQ
— Major D P Singh (@MajDPSingh) March 9, 2019
On March 1, the Pakistani government had released the Indian pilot who was captured when his MiG-21 was among two Indian military aircraft shot down by Pakistan Air Force after they ventured into the Pakistani airspace, as a “gesture of peace” towards New Delhi.
Social media users criticised the party and called it “shameful” and a “cheap poll trick”.
Journalist Rama Lakshmi questioned the political party and asked, “Is the BJP allowed to use Abhinandan in its posters? It is ‘a slippery slope’.”
Another user found it to be “shameful”
BJP using wing commander Abhinandan’s picture on campaign posters . Shame on you BJP . Shame on you Chowkidar @INCIndia pic.twitter.com/DmlRaN18JK
— YehKotlerKotlerKyaHai (@truthserum21) March 9, 2019