MADURAI: The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court has ordered the government of Tamil Nadu to ensure that photos of both President Droupadi Murmu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi appear in all advertisements related to the 44th Chess Olympiad 2022, which will be hosted in the state from July 28 to August 10.
The court also called for tough action against those involved in tampering with advertisements featuring photos of the president and prime minister.
The Supreme Court order came after Rajesh Kumar, a resident of Sivagangai, filed a petition in the Madurai Bench of the Madras Supreme Court.
The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court also said the prime minister’s photo should have been featured in the advertisements for the 44th Chess Olympiad to be held in Tamil Nadu even if he was unable to attend.
In his petition, Kumar said the 44th Chess Olympiad will start on Thursday at Mamallapuram in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. The Prime Minister will inaugurate this competition. The petition said the tournament, which is scheduled to run from July 28 to August 10, is largely funded by public taxes.
“This is an event that a country of international importance can be proud of, but the ruling party (in Tamil Nadu) used it as an event for their political gain. Apart from the unposted photos of the President of India and Prime Minister, only the photo of Prime Minister Stalin has been placed in these advertisements,” the plea read.
Speaking to ANI, TN BJP chief K Annamalai said the party never advises its cadres to put on posters.
“We never advise our leaders and cadres to put on posters, because we are a very disciplined party. At the same time, some leaders do it with their rightful emotions about the contribution of the central government; Prime Minister Modi played an important role in bringing Chess Olympiad 2022 to India,” he said.
“This was confirmed by the HC ruling of the Madurai bank today, which has also issued a very clear order. I hope the government of Tamil Nadu will not act on this next time and politicize such matters,” Annamalai added .
The petitioner in court had demanded an apology from the government of Tamil Nadu for not including the prime minister’s photo in advertisements.
Madras Supreme Court Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari said the Prime Minister’s photo should have been shown even if he was unable to attend. He said the country should be featured in an environment where thousands of athletes from more than 100 countries participate.
The 44th Chess Olympiad was inaugurated in Chennai on Thursday by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In addition, the Chief of State MK Stalin and Prime Minister Modi, actor Rajnikanth and several other prominent personalities also attended the occasion.
The Olympiad will be held at the Four Points by Sheraton Mahabalipuram Resort and Convention Center in Mahabalipuram. The Chess Olympiad was initially planned in Russia and was moved to Chennai after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The upcoming edition will witness a record 188 teams in the Open section and 162 in the women’s category.
The 44th Chess Olympiad will last until August 10.