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Twitter Trolls Modi as Jio’s ‘Best Salesman’, Asks How It is Legal

What could be a better way of advertising Reliance Jio than pasting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s face on it?

Updated
India
2 min read
PM Modi with Mukesh Ambani. (Photo: Reuters)

All politicians need friends who are businessmen, and all businessmen need politician friends.

What could be a better way of advertising Reliance Jio than pasting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s face on it?

In the launch on Thursday, Reliance dedicated its Jio 4G plan to the Prime Minister’s Digital India Campaign.

For a while now, the Modi government has been flirting with the idea of digitising India, which in its initiation, saw a setback when Facebook’s Free Basics campaign was effectively banned by TRAI.

Is it Permissible by Law?

The Section 3 of The Emblems And Names (Prevention Of Improper Use) Act, 1950 which governs such matters clearly states that that Reliance Jio’s full page ad featuring the PM is illegal by law unless it was given a nod by the PMO itself.

The law says:

No person shall, except in such cases and under such conditions as may be prescribed by the Central Government, use or continue to use, for the purpose of any trade, business, calling or profession, or in the title of any patent, or in any trade mark or design, any name or emblem specified in the Schedule or any colourable imitation thereof without the previous permission of the Central Government or of such officer of Government as may be authorized in this behalf by the Central Government.

A quick reading of the law raises questions over PM Modi’s decision to endorse a privately owned telecom operator such as Reliance in a market where government owned entities such as BSNL and MTNL already exist.

Underlying implication of this endorsement was not lost on the known lawyer, Prashant Bhushan who tweeted to explain how the move will affect things going forward.

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Twitter Trolls Modi For Full Page Endorsement

This advertisement also did not go down well with those who think a politician cannot be endorsing the wealthiest businessmen in the country.

Neither Delhi CM, Arvind Kejriwal nor comedian Tanmay Bhat did not lose a minute to taunt Modi.

“Modiji, keep modeling for Reliance ads, the country’s labourers will together teach you a lesson in 2019’s General Elections,” the tweet reads.

Many tweeted about their suspicion of a deal between the government and Ambani given the profitable driven nature of the advertisement.

Accusations of nepotism were hurled at Modi, given their history of mutual endorsement of each other.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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