Actor Akhil Iyer threatens action against Karnataka Congress for using his image in campaign

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The bullish campaign of the Opposition Congress against the ruling BJP government in Karnataka hit a hurdle after actor Akhil Iyer threatened to initiate legal action against the state unit of the Congress for using his image without consent in its campaign.

His image appeared on a poster shared by the page ‘40% sarkara’ (40% government), which takes a dig at the state BJP government. “The gluttony of 40% Sarkara has robbed over 54,000 youths of a career,” the poster reads with a monochrome image of the actor in the background.

The post is part of an ongoing campaign by the Congress targeting the BJP over allegations of corruption levelled against the state government under Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai.

Akhil Iyer, who took offence at the use of his image, shared the post on Twitter and said he would take legal action.

“I am appalled to see that my face is being used illegally and without my consent for “40% Sarkara” – an @INCIndia campaign that I have nothing to do with. I will be taking legal action against this.” he said, tagging Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Karnataka Opposition leader Siddaramaiah and the official handle of Karnataka Congress and asking them to look into the issue.

When contacted, Priyank Kharge, MLA and head of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee’s communication cell, said the post was taken down following the tweet. “Generally we only use shutterstock images for such campaigns. I am not sure whether the image was used due to oversight,” he said. “We have pulled down the post and are looking into the complaints,” he told The Indian Express.