A farmer protesting at Delhi's Singhu border against the centre's contentious farm laws for nearly two weeks has alleged that his photograph has been illegally used by the BJP to promote farm laws in its advertisements.
Harpreet Singh, the farmer from Punjab's Hoshiyarpur, said that he will send a legal notice to BJP, with his original image and a copy of the advertisement which was posted on Facebook by the Punjab unit of the BJP on Monday, December 21. The post was later removed.
The advertisement shows Singh in a farmer's attire and says that during this Kharif season, the purchase of crops at minimum support price is continuing.
The advertisement which mentioned details about government procurement of crops featured an edited photograph of a farmer carrying a plough. It mentioned that the centre's agencies had purchased 412.91 LMT (lakh metric tonnes) of paddy and paid 77,957.83 crores benefiting 48.56 lakh farmers.
Singh alleged that the photograph was clicked nearly seven years ago and was taken from his social media page without his permission. He said that he was informed about the advertisement after his friend saw it and sent a message on WhatsApp.
"Now everyone is calling me a poster boy of the BJP. I'm not. I am the poster boy of the protesting farmer," Singh said.
Once the post was uploaded online by BJP, Singh replied to it: "I'm at Singhu border since November 26 and I am against these farm bills. I am supporting farmers in their struggle and BJP is using my picture in favour of the bills and that too without my permission. It is the height of indecency. I appeal to everyone to report this so Facebook also comes to know of it."