Health Ministry to mask PM picture on vaccine certificates in poll-bound states
Complying with the Election Commission’s orders, the Health Ministry will mask pictures of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on vaccine certificates in poll-bound states.
Complying with the Election Commission’s orders, the Health Ministry will mask pictures of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on vaccine certificates in poll-bound states. Earlier this month the EC had asked the Union Government to stop using Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s picture on Covid-19 vaccination certificates in states headed to Assembly elections, following a complaint by the Trinamool Congress.
The Ministry was instructed to implement the instructions with regard to the vaccination certificates being distributed in West Bengal, Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Puducherry.
The EC’s decision came after the Health Ministry, in its reply to the panel, said the vaccination drive was an ongoing government initiative that had started much before the MCC came into force a week ago.
To comply with the EC’s direction, the Health Ministry will now have to update its software to introduce a filter that would mask the PM’s picture on the certificate, sources said.
The EC has in the past forbidden the use of the PM’s picture on posters. Also, official websites of government schemes during elections.
During the 2017 elections in Goa, Manipur, Punjab, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh. The Commission had asked the Cabinet Secretary to remove images of Modi. And the then Urban Development Minister from the website of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana.
The TMC had approached the West Bengal Chief Electoral Officer to complain. The use of PM’s photo was a “blatant misuse of official machinery” and violated the MCC.
This comes a day after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said she was attacked by a group of “four or five people”. Outside a temple in Nandigram. A case was registered over the incident, following a complaint lodged by TMC leader Sheikh Sufian, PTI reported.