The Election Commission on Tuesday directed all political parties to desist from displaying photographs of President and Vice President of India and Governors of the states in their election campaigns.
"The President's Secretariat has brought to the notice of Election Commission that the photographs of the President and Vice-President of India are being used by the political parties, their leaders and candidates in advertisements as part of their election propaganda and requested the Commission to issue suitable instruction in this regard," read an EC order.
"It is pertinent to mention here that the President of India is the guardian of the Constitution and completely apolitical and neutral in the democratic set up as envisaged in our Constitution.
"It is, therefore, necessary that the political parties and leaders exercise great caution while making any reference to the President in their political campaigns," it added.
The order further said: "The Commission is of the view that photographs of President and Vice-President of India, as also the photographs of the Governors of the states, who are also constitutional authorities, should not be associated with or used in any manner in election campaigning by political parties."
Rashtrapati Bhavan had written to Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi on Saturday raising concerns over reports of the use of President Pranab Mukherjee's pictures on the hoardings of a political party.
The Commission's letter also referred to two reports — appearing in two dailies under headline "Pranab pictures on Cong posters under EC scanner" — in this regard.