Lucknow: Deleting a photo of Mulayam Singh Yadav has proven to be a rash decision for 19-year-old Tabrez Khan of Lucknow.
His laptop hasn't worked since the teen tried to remove the close-ups of the Samajwadi Party chief and his son, Akhilesh Yadav, which popped up by default when he switched on his Rs 19,000 Hewlett Packard (HP) computer.
Tabrez didn't pay for it. The chief minister did, with government funds, delivering on a promise that he made to thousands of young voters before he triumphed in the elections a year ago, positioning his party as young, progressive and tech-savvy.
Over the next eight months, the 39-year-old chief minister will give away 15 lakh laptops.
All of them greet users with photos of his father and him.
"I was trying to partition the hard disc, and was also trying to change the image when the system crashed," said Tabrez at an HP service centre where he will not be charged for repairs.
Another student said his laptop also malfunctioned when he tried to delete the photo, but said he was nervous about sharing his name or complaint.
The government says that only 20 out of 10,000 systems distributed this week have broken down. Some are cases of hard-disk partitioning while others are due to attempts to remove image.
But to avoid more ignominy, a new set of Dos and Don'ts will be communicated to students through special sessions and will be put up on the HP website.
Recipients will be warned not to tamper with the BIOS to remove the politicians' photos- they will stay on screen for five seconds.
Another precaution -The laptop is government property and selling it, misusing it or destroying it can lead to legal consequences.