EC urged to remove Modi’s picture on COVID vaccine certificate

HYDERABAD: Senior Congress leader Marri Shashidhar Reddy on Monday filed a complaint with the Election Commission seeking removal of the photograph of Prime Minister Narendra Modi from the Covid-19 vaccination certificates.

In his letter, Shashidhar Reddy pointed out that responding to a representation by a political party in West Bengal, the ECI has directed the Union health ministry to discontinue the practice immediately in view of the Assembly elections in five states.

Reddy regretted that the certificates were being issued in Telangana state with Modi’s photograph though MLC elections for two graduate constituencies are scheduled for March 14. Besides, there is an Assembly byelection due in the state, for which the schedule is to be announced shortly.

Taking all these into consideration, the Election Commission should direct the Union ministry to stop this practice without any further delay. 

The Congress leader recalled that when he was vice-chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) between 2010 and 2014, he had to take the EC’s permission for an advertisement about the release of National Guidelines on Management of Disasters with a picture of the then Prime Minister and NDMA Chairman Dr Manmohan Singh, which,incidentally, was denied.

The health ministry has apparently failed to apply its mind about model code of conduct (MCC) and did not think it necessary to seek EC approval. He said that the poll panel should seek an explanation from the ministry and ask them to fix the responsibility and ensure that the lapse is recorded in their performance appraisal report.



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