“Photo Used Illegally”: Farmer Shown By BJP In Ad On Farm Laws Is Protesting At Singhu Border

Mr Singh said the photograph, clicked around seven years ago, has been taken off his social media page without his permission.

Harpreet Singh, a farmer protesting at Delhi’s Singhu border for two weeks, has said his image has been illegally used by the BJP to promote the farms laws in its advertisements. The 35 years old said he would be sending a legal notice to the party, with his original photograph and a copy of the advertisement.

The advertisement was posted on Facebook by the Punjab unit of the BJP on Monday, aimed to address one of the biggest concerns of the protesting farmers — the prospect of the government phasing out its guaranteed prices for crops.

The advertisement gave data on government procurement of crops, including rice and pulses and also featured an edited image of a farmer carrying a plough.

Mr Singh said the photograph, clicked around seven years ago, has been taken off his social media page without his permission.

“Now everyone is calling me a poster boy of the BJP. I’m not. I am the poster boy of the protesting farmer,” Mr Singh told reporters today.

The farmer said he has been staying at the Singhu border, where thousands have been assembling since November 26, demanding scrapping of the farm laws.

Talking to BBC, Mr Singh said: “I was told by my friend last night about such advertisement being posted by the BJP with my picture.”

“They want to show the farmers of Punjab happy. Earlier they wanted to taint the protesting farmers as Khalistani and Naxals. Now they want to portray as if all those protesting are middlemen and real farmers are happy. Do you think so many people gathered over here are all middlemen?” Mr Singh asked.

When asked what objection he has over the advertisement, Mr Singh told the BBC: “They have taken my picture without permission. Now people are searching for me on social media thinking who is this person that agreed to do the advertisement. The pictures depict a Punjabi farmer. This is the trap by BJP to show that Punjabi farmers are actually happy with the farm laws.”

Mr Singh said that his image, that was clicked by his friend some seven years back, has also been used on several instances by private companies and parties during polls.

“I uploaded a video on my Facebook this morning urging my friends to go and report the post on Punjab BJP page. I will also send a legal notice to them in a day or two,” Mr Singh said.

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