EC asks govt to remove PM Modi’s photos from COVID certificates in poll-bound states

Trinamool Congress had raised the matter with the Election Commission.

With Assembly elections slated in a few weeks’ time in four states and one union territory, the Election Commission of India has asked the Union Health ministry to remove Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s photograph from COVID-19 vaccine certificates in these states, it was reported.

Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry have state elections in March-April. Results will be out on May 2. Since the announcement of the election dates, model code of conduct has come into effect, and Opposition parties had taken it up with the EC.

Trinamool Congress had, a few days back, complained before the EC about alleged “blatant misuse of official machinery” by the Prime Minister, in issuing COVID-19 vaccine certificates with his photograph. The party had said that Modi’s photo on the certificates was a way of stealing credit from doctors and healthcare workers. The party had appealed to the EC to stop this, and “taking unfair advantage and undue publicity at the taxpayer’s cost” during elections.

The EC had asked for a report from the Bengal chief electoral officer (CEO) and the Health ministry was asked to remove the photos, said a report by NDTV. The report adds that certificates with the PM’s photos can be distributed in other states where polls are not scheduled. The second phase of vaccination is on across the country for those above 60.