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No Harm in ‘Abhinandan ka Abhinandan’: Shivraj Chouhan on BJP Using IAF Pilot’s Photo for Campaign

The BJP recently found itself at the centre of a controversy for printing multiple political campaign posters with the photo of Indian Air Force pilot Abhinandan Varthaman.

Manoj Sharma | News18

Updated:March 11, 2019, 6:09 PM IST
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No Harm in ‘Abhinandan ka Abhinandan’: Shivraj Chouhan on BJP Using IAF Pilot’s Photo for Campaign
File photo of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and his wife Sadhna Singh. (Image: PTI)
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Bhopal: Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Monday dismissed allegations that the BJP is banking on the wave of nationalism in the country leading from the February 26 IAF airstrikes to win the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Talking about the recent controversy of BJP’s multiple political campaign posters with the photo of Indian Air Force pilot Abhinandan Varthaman, Chouhan said, “We are not politicising the issue but Abhinandan ka Abhinandan karne me koi burayi nahi hai (There is no harm in giving a grand welcome to Abhinandan).” He added that ensuring safety for citizens is an issue for the whole country and his party would certainly talk about it.

A BJP campaign poster with photo of IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman.

A BJP campaign poster with photo of IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman.

His statement comes a day after Election Commission made it clear that the political parties and candidates cannot use photographs of any defence personnel in their poll advertisements for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

On AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi being dubbed a Congress ‘trump card’, Chouhan claimed that “only deeds decide one’s place in the society”, adding, “If we believe that someone will bring about a miraculous change, is not possible in India.”

“It is not possible that Priyanka Gandhi will do any miracles…only Prime Minister Narendra Modi could do it and that too on the basis of his work,” Chouhan said.

The three-time Madhya Pradesh chief minister downplayed the controversy on election dates clashing with those of Ramzan, saying, “The country regularly witnesses festivals but holding polls within five years is a constitutional requirement. The polls are taking place on time and there is nothing wrong in this.”

Turning down speculations on his wife Sadhna Singh contesting Lok Sabha polls, the BJP national vice president said neither he nor his wife are planning it. After union minister Sushma Swaraj decided against contesting from Vidisha Lok Sabha seat, it was widely speculated that either Chouhan or his wife would replace her in the 2019 polls.

In the last few years, Chouhan’s son Kartikeya has emerged as an active member of the party, handling public meetings and campaigning for his father and therefore fuelling speculations that he could soon take a political plunge. Chouhan, however, has on multiple occasions denied any possibility of his son or wife joining the politics.

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| Edited by: Divya Kapoor
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