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West Bengal: Controversy over Election Commission advertisement with ‘Vote in the name of Army’

On Saturday, the Election Commission in its print advertisement in West Bengal appealed to the people to cast their votes using the picture of the security forces.

According to the report of the English newspaper Indian Express, the Election Commission forbids political parties and leaders from mentioning security forces in their election campaigns or seeking votes in their name.

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This advertisement of the Election Commission was published on Saturday, the day of the fourth phase of voting in West Bengal. The advertisement featured a deep photograph of ‘Amar Jawan Jyoti’ and a ‘common man’ made by famous cartoonist RK Laxman.

In the advertisement, the ‘common man’ is paying tribute to a picture of the soldier. The advertisement asks: They sacrifice their lives for the country. You can’t even vote for the country?

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After this, the advertisement said, “Voting is not only your right but also your duty. Vote fearlessly.”

According to the newspaper, earlier the Election Commission had instructed political parties and leaders not to use pictures of soldiers in their election advertisements, speeches or campaigns or to ask for votes in their name.

A former Election Commission official has admitted that this is perhaps the first time such advertisement has been used.

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He told the newspaper, “The Election Commission will be expected to follow its own rules. You cannot do this by stopping the parties from doing so.”

However, a current senior officer of the commission defended the advertisement. He said, “Our aim is completely different. We are using the name of security forces for electoral gains. Our aim is to motivate people to vote.”

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