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The Election Commission of India (ECI) has issued a general advisory to all political parties not to use “the photographs of the Defence personnel in advertisements as part of their political campaigns”.

In a circular which was issued on Saturday (Mar 9), the poll panel reminded all the political parties of the advisory it had issued on December 4, 2013 saying “It is pertinent to mention here that the Armed Forces of a nation are the guardian of its frontiers, security and the political system. They 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 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… You are, therefore, requested to issue appropriate instructions to your candidates/leaders/cadres in this regard to ensure compliance in the matter.”

—India Legal Bureau

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