The Karnataka unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday petitioned electoral authorities against Unique Identification Authority of India Chairman Nandan Nilekani, tipped to be the Congress’s candidate from Bangalore in Lok Sabha polls, taking exception to his name and picture figuring with Aadhar Card advertisements when the Model Code of Conduct is in force.
"For the last 15 or 20 days, Bangalore has been seeing various advertisements where Nandan Nilekani proclaims himself to be the giver of nearly 60 crore Aadhar cards to Indians," Karnataka BJP co-spokesperson Malavika Avinash told reporters after complaining to Chief Electoral Officer Anil Kumar Jha.
Pointing out that Nilekani is only an officer who was part of implementation of a Union government scheme, she said, "It is not his private enterprise that he goes out advertising like this."
"He should have quit doing these advertisements, soon after the Chief Election Commissioner implemented the Model Code of Conduct, but he has continued to advertise Aadhar card as his own private enterprise," she added.
The Karnataka BJP claimed that Nilekani has been sending out campaign material -- such as pamphlets with his photographs -- specifically to residences whose members have been issued an Aadhar card.
The BJP wanted to know how the Nilekani managed to get the details of those issued with Aadhar cards.
Malavika said, "We have lodged a complaint with the Chief Electoral Officer, stating that he should be removed from his position as the chief of Aadhar card project and all his advertisements should be withdrawn."
Questioning Nilakani's ‘Better Bangalore’ advertisements, she said, "Who really is he to be claiming to make a better Bangalore., in what capacity is he speaking?”
"He should refrain from doing so immediately." she added.
Nilekani, a co-founder of software behemoth Infosys, has already launched a campaign in Bangalore South Lok Sabha constituency, from where he is tipped to take on BJP leader Ananth Kumar, who has won the seat five times.
Image: Nandan Nilekani
With additional inputs from PTI