The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Friday barred former India cricketer Yusuf Pathan, the Trinamool Congress nominee from Baharampur in Murshidabad district for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, from using pictures from India's triumphant campaign in the 2011 ODI World Cup during his poll campaign.

On March 26, the Congress had approached the office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), West Bengal, accusing Pathan of violating the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) by using photos of Sachin Tendulkar while campaigning for the Lok Sabha elections.

Pathan, the elder brother of former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan, was part of the India team led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni that won the ODI World Cup on home soil in 2011.

Sources in the CEO's office said that after a thorough evaluation of the complaint, the poll panel found merit in Congress’ argument that since India’s victory in the 2011 ODI World Cup was a matter of pride for every Indian, that sentiment should not be exploited by any political party to catch the attention of the voters.

The Commission also directed the former India cricketer to remove all the campaign flexes carrying pictures related to India’s victory in the 2021 World Cup.

After the Congress lodged its complaint on Tuesday, Pathan had claimed that he had every right to use the World Cup-related pictures since he was a part of the winning team.

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