Delhi BJP Uses Tamil Author Perumal Murugan's Photo on Posters for Campaign for Slum Dwellers

While the BJP has called it an 'inadvertent error', the author said he is happy for having been featured along with slum residents.

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New Delhi: Tamil writer Perumal Murugan’s photograph has made it to BJP posters of a campaign called ‘Jhuggi Samman Yatra’ being run by the party in order to reach out to Delhi’s slum dwellers. The party described it as an inadvertent error, according to Indian Express.

In the poster, which was shared on Twitter by the Delhi BJP handle and hoardings of which appeared in the city, Murugan is seen among a group of people meant to represent Delhi’s slum residents.

When asked about the faux pas, Rajan Tiwari, Delhi BJP vice-president, said, “We will check with the design team about what happened.”

Murugan, on his part, said he was happy to be featured along with slum dwellers. “I myself belong to slums, so I am delighted. I am happy to have featured along with them,” said Murugan who has 10 novels and several collections of short stories and poems to his credit.

The particular poster also served as a background for the stage erected for a meeting organised by the Delhi BJP in the city’s Patel Nagar on Monday, November 29, where the party’s national president J.P. Nadda and Delhi unit chief Adesh Gupta spoke.

According to a senior BJP leader in the Delhi unit, such posters are generally handled by the party’s IT cell, or the work is outsourced to a private agency. And, before they go public, they do get a nod from the party’s top functionaries. However, in this case, the gaffe could not be spotted in the process, he added.

“As per the procedure, an original photograph from a previous BJP programme or rally should have been used, instead of such a photograph whose source is not known,” Indian Express quoted the leader as saying.

The Jhuggi Samman Yatra is a month-and-a-half long outreach drive of the BJP being held ahead of polls for the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD). The civic body polls will be held in April 2022.

Speaking at the Monday’s meeting, Nadda said, “Only false propaganda was done in the name of development in Delhi. Blaming others has become a habit of the Delhi government. If work was not done, it was said that the central government did not do it. Whatever work Modi ji did, they (the AAP government) campaigned by pasting their picture on that work.”