The state of Madhya Pradesh in India witnessed a fierce battle of posters between the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress, as both parties engaged in a political slugfest ahead of the upcoming elections.
In a move to target Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the Congress plastered posters across the capital city of Bhopal, accusing him of engaging in corrupt practices.
These posters prominently displayed a QR code featuring Chouhan's face and carried the slogan, "50% laao, PhonePe kaam karao" (pay 50% commission to get your work done).
However, digital payments company PhonePe quickly objected to the unauthorized use of its logo on the posters. Taking to Twitter, PhonePe expressed its disapproval and demanded the removal of its brand logo from the political campaign.
The company clarified that it had no affiliation with any political party or campaign and emphasized that its logo was a registered trademark. PhonePe warned that any misuse of its intellectual property rights would result in legal action.
The company directly addressed the Congress party, urging them to remove the posters featuring the PhonePe brand and logo.
This poster war in Madhya Pradesh bears resemblance to a similar incident that took place during the recent Karnataka elections.
Prior to those elections, Congress had conducted a poster campaign against the previous Chief Minister, Basavaraj Bommai, using the slogan 'PayCM.'
Such tactics involving the use of posters and catchy slogans have become common in Indian politics, as parties attempt to gain an edge over their opponents.
However, the involvement of corporate logos in political campaigns raises concerns about the unauthorized use of intellectual property and trademarks, leading companies like PhonePe to take swift action to protect their brand image.
As the political climate heats up in Madhya Pradesh ahead of the elections, it remains to be seen how both the Congress and the BJP will respond to each other's tactics.
The battle of posters serves as a reflection of the intense competition between the political parties and their determination to sway public opinion in their favour.