The direction came following media reports about the
National Highways Authority of India's (NHAI) decision to
erect about 1,500 billboards with pictures of the Prime
Minister and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi every 25 kilometres
on national highways.
"Photograph of Prime Minister cannot be used by any
Ministry or Department without specific approval of Prime
Minister's Office," a circular issued by PMO read.
The response came in reply to an RTI query which asked
PMO whether or not the NHAI had sought permission for putting
up the Prime Minister's photograph on national highways.
The Cabinet Secretary has been requested to "suitably
reiterate instructions in this regard to all Ministries or
Departments of the Government of India that the use of
photograph of Prime Minister should be done only with prior
approval of PMO," the reply by PMO said.
PMO sources said there was "general disapproval" of using
Prime Minister's photographs without permission though no
formal order has been issued in this regard.
In response to the RTI application, the NHAI has earlier
said to have asked all its Project Directors regarding
provision of display boards at 25 km interval on both sides
alternatively in English, Hindi and the local language
carrying the two leaders' photographs.
The NHAI has said out of the total of 1,488 such
billboards, a maximum of 282 will be on national highways in
Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Uttarakhand and Jharkhand, 249 in
Rajasthan, Gujarat and Haryana and 214 in Tamil Nadu and
Last month, the PMO ordered an enquiry into the
appearance of the photograph of former Pakistan Air Chief
Marshal Tanvir Mahmood Ahmed in uniform along with those of
Singh and Gandhi in a full-page newspaper advertisement given
by the Ministry of Women and Child Development to mark the
National Girl Child Day.
New Delhi: After facing embarrassment over the goof-up in an advertisement by Women and Child Development Ministry, the PMO has given instructions to all Ministries to take its prior approval before using Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's photographs.
First Published: Friday, February 12, 2010, 18:08