Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Om Prakash from Delhi was recently served two show cause notices by the Election Commission (EC) for posting photos featuring him, Indian Air Force (IAF) Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his Facebook.
The EC asked Om Prakash to to take down the post and reply to the notices by Thursday (March 14). The photo in question ,according to Sharma, was posted by him in March.
In Maharashtra, India Today TV found that across party line, many sitting MLAs and MPs have have such posts on their accounts.
Maharashtra cabinet minister for Cooperation, Marketing and Textiles is Subhash Deshmukh. His Facebook page has the blue tick which signifies it is a verified account.
Subhash Deshmukh’s Facebook post extolling the bravery of Wing Commander Abhinandan can be seen here. The post is in Marathi but one can clearly see that the post has been uploaded by the BJP leader on March 1.
Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil’s Facebook page does not have a blue tick but the man, who has been facing a little opposition from his own party asfter his son joined the BJP, has one such post pushed on March 1.
Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil’s Facebook page has everything; from his speeches to pictures with party workers. Even on March 8, International Women’s Day, a picture of a woman pilot can be seen on his social media page. But in particular, on March 1 a photo of Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil with Abhinandan’s photo can be seen where it is written “Welcome Home”.
The post can be seen here.
BJP MP from Jalgaon, AT Nana Patil also has couple of photos uploaded on his Facebook. His Facebook page is verified with a blue tick. Just as in the case of Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, his Facebook post has a photo of women in armed forces posted on March 8.
On March 3, the MP uploaded a photo of Abhinandan to say how the BJP was trying to get him out of Pakistan while the Opposition was busy instigating people.
AT Patil’s account also has a blue tick. On March 1, he again had a sand art post of Abhinandan with him and BJP senior leaders on it.
On March 6, he uploaded a photo of Army jawans extolling the bravery of having taught Pakistan Army a good lesson. The post can be seen here.
Waris Pathan, the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) MLA from Mumbai too had a post of himself with Abhinandan and the Owaisi brothers on March 2. The photo said, “Welcome to India Jai Hind Abhinandan Varthaman” along with a photo of the pilot and a lion. The Facebook account of Waris Pathan is also verified with a blue tick which can be seen here.
The Facebook account of independent MLA from Achalpur, Bacchu Kadu, also has blue tick Facebook page. He also expressed happiness by putting up a photo of an IAF aircraft in flight. The post uploaded on February 26 has his name and social media addresses on it. The post can be seen here.
Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman had returned to India on March 1 and that is why most political leaders have such posters uploaded on that day.
However, recently Election Commission asked political parties to refrain from using images of the armed forces personnel in their campaign posters and other advertisements during general elections.