Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday called out at the Election Commission for using a picture of Army jawans for a campaign to promote voting in the Lok Sabha elections that begin today.

He took to Twitter to express his annoyance:

“We welcome EC ban on NaMo TV and movie. But how will the EC stop politicians from using the army to ask for votes, when they are using the army themselves?”

The former UP CM attached a picture used by the poll panel in the campaign which showed two soldiers looking into the camera. The photo is a promotion for the “My Vote Matters” campaign and includes the EC’s helpline and website details towards the bottom. Meanwhile, EC’s directive to political parties and candidates asks them to not use photographs of any defence personnel in their advertisements for the Lok Sabha polls.
In an order earlier on Wednesday, the EC banned the release of ‘PM Narendra Modi’ till the end of the Lok Sabha election.
It also directed banning the release of any biography or any other poster or publicity material that serves the interests of a political entity. The order also covers Namo TV, the 24-hour channel promoting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP that surreptitiously landed on DTH connections ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

The opposition had complained to the Election Commission against the channel. It welcomed the action taken.

Congress leader Sanjay Jha had said, "I'm glad the Election Commission has taken this stand. It was crude propaganda and a monumental shame for the country that the ruling party indulged in actions like this.”