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Remove PM Modi's photo from Covid vaccine certificates: EC tells Centre

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New Delhi, Mar 4: In the run-up to Assembly elections in four states and a Union Territory, the Election Commission (EC) has asked the Central Government to remove Prime Minister Narendra Modi's photo from coronavirus vaccine certificates being offered to beneficiaries in these states.

The ECI direction comes a week after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's party complained to the apex election body, saying the BJP and the Prime Minister were indulging in blatant misuse of the official machinery.

Remove PM Modis photo from Covid vaccine certificates: EC tells Centre

The TMC had on Tuesday approached the poll panel about Modi's image on vaccination certificates generated through the Co-Win platform being a violation of the model code of conduct in Bengal and other poll-bound states.

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Also in Kerala, a Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) leader also had lodged a complaint with the Election Commission demanding the removal of the image of Modi from the COVID-19 vaccination certificate, issued to people in poll-bound state.I

In the brief letter, Midhun Shah, who is also the state co-coordinator of the Kerala State Youth Commission, pointed out that the model code of conduct was already in force in the southern state, where Assembly election is scheduled on April 6.

"The certificate, issued for receiving the free COVID-19 vaccine in the state, carries photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and excerpts of his speech. As it may influence the election procedure, I request you to take necessary steps to remove it," he said.

Shah later said that the complaint was lodged based on the provisional certificate which he got after receiving the shot at a vaccination centre here this morning.

"As the state-coordinator of the Youth Commission, I received the first dose of the vaccine this morning. I was surprised to see the Prime Minister''s colour photo and wordings in it. I feel it is a violation of model code of conduct and so approached the EC seeking its removal," he told PTI.

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    The EC had on Wednesday directed all petrol outlets and other agencies to remove hoardings advertising central government schemes and carrying images of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, from the premises within 72 hours, citing violation of the model code of conduct.

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