Take permission before using PM`s photographs: PMO
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Last Updated: Friday, February 12, 2010, 18:08
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.

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 Puducherry.

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.


First Published: Friday, February 12, 2010, 18:08

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