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EC seeks report on PM Modi photo on Covid certificates after TMC alleges poll code violation

EC gives Bengal’s chief electoral officer 24 hrs to furnish report. BJP had defended Modi’s photo on Covid vaccination certificates saying PM’s handling of pandemic has been exemplary.

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New Delhi: The Election Commission of India has asked the chief electoral officer of West Bengal for a report on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s photo being used on the digital certificates being given to Covid-19 vaccine recipients, after the Trinamool Congress lodged a complaint with the panel in this regard.

The Bengal CEO has been given 24 hours to furnish the report. Sources in the ECI said the commission would take a decision on the matter on the basis of the CEO’s report.

The Trinamool Congress Tuesday complained to the Election Commission of India about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s photo and name appearing on the Covid-19 vaccination  certificates, calling it a “blatant” violation of the Model Code of Conduct.

The Trinamool complaint followed a report in ThePrint that highlighted how Modi’s photo on the certificates had caused heartburn among Opposition parties, especially in non-BJP-ruled states.

Trinamool MP Derek O’Brien told the EC that this amounted to “blatantly misusing official machinery” ahead of the Assembly polls in West Bengal, taking away credit from healthcare workers.

“By placing his photograph, name and message on the provisional certificates issued by the Ministry of Health and Family welfare, he is not only exploiting his post and powers but also stealing commendable credit from the producers of Covid vaccines,” O’ Brien wrote in his letter to the ECI.

“He is blatantly appropriating the dues of a vast army of selfless doctors, nurses and health service workers,” he wrote.

BJP defended move

The BJP has, however, defended the photos by arguing that the PM’s handling of the pandemic has been exemplary, and it is in that capacity that his photos are being used in the certificates.

“He is the PM of the country, so it is in that capacity his photo is there. The way he handled the coronavirus pandemic, the way India became a leading example for the rest of the world — whether it is in distribution of vaccine, PPE kits or other medicines — we should be proud of the work he has done,” BJP’s national spokesperson R.P. Singh had told ThePrint.

Meanwhile, the EC Wednesday asked all petrol pump dealers and other agencies to ensure the removal of hoardings advertising central government schemes that carry photographs of the prime minister within 72 hours.

The use of the prime minister’s photograph in such hoardings is violative of the Model Code of Conduct, it stated.

Also Read: It’s undue publicity, remove Modi photo from Covid certificates, Trinamool writes to EC


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  1. It’s the Covid warrior, scientific community and lakhs of other frontline workers who were responsibility for fighting Covid. Any PM whether Modi or anyone else would have worked to save people and it’s their responsibility. Moreover, how can PM photo be there in certificate which he will receive. What about President. If Mod has photograph of himself, the same should also apply to the people as well. No other world leader has photograph of theirs in vaccine. If BJP can justify his photo in vaccine certificate then why Congress cannot claim for Nehru Gandhi name for projects. The vaccine is at taxpayer costs and it’s peoples who are owners and neither BJP or Modi. This is what PM had said when their party announced free vaccine for Bihar voters

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