Bhubaneswar: Dilip Tirkey, a former member of the Indian hockey team who is contesting from Sundergarh Lok Sabha constituency on a Biju Janata Dal ticket, has been barred from using the Padma Shri award as a title in his campaign, an official said today .
The district election officer at Sundergarh, about 400 km from state capital Bhubaneswar, in a letter directed Tirkey to remove immediately all campaign materials which carry the word 'Padma Shri' before his name.
District Election Officer B.S. Punia instructed Tirkey that it would be unfair to use Padma Shri as a title on his posters and banners and other campaign materials.
The move comes nearly a week after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Jual Oram petitioned the district election officer, citing the use of Padma Shri honour as a violation of the Model Code of Conduct.
Tirkey, who is a sitting Rajya Sabha member from the state, was honoured with Padma Shri, India's fourth highest civilian award, in 2004 for his contribution to the field of hockey.
There are 12 candidates in the fray for the Sundergarh Lok Sabha seat.
However, the main contest is likely to be between the Congress' Hemananda Biswal, the BJP's Jual Oram, and the BJD's Dilip Tirkey. The region goes to polls April 10.