The Election Commission of India (EC) on Thursday, 3 March, directed all petrol pump dealers and other agencies in West Bengal to remove hoardings advertising central government’s schemes that carry photographs of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, PTI reported.
The EC has reportedly given 72 hours for the hoardings to be removed from the premises of the facilities.
"“The use of the Prime Minister’s photograph on such hoardings violates the Model Code of Conduct (MCC).”" - The official of the West Bengal Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) told PTI.
TMC Objects to Modi’s Picture on Vaccination Certificates
The move came after a group of TMC leaders met the EC over the use of PM Modi’s photographs on COVID-19 vaccination certificates by the Union Health Ministry, calling it a “blatant misuse of official machinery” and sought intervention to remove hoardings with PM’s face, reported PTI.
West Bengal State Minister Firhad Hakim had sought EC’s intervention a day after Trinamool Rajya Sabha MP Derek O'Brien alleged that PM Modi’s photographs were being used on COVID-19 certificates despite election dates being announced.
"“Prime Minister Narendra Modi happens to be the star campaigner of the BJP in this Assembly elections. As a politician, he is seeking support for his party during rallies. In this situation, using his photo in vaccination certificates is akin to influencing voters and violates the model code of conduct.”" - Firhad Hakim to PTI
West Bengal Assembly is set to go to polls from 27 March to 29 April in eight phases, the results of which will be declared on 2 May. This makes it the longest ever polling in the state so far, seemingly based on “assessments of law and order” by the EC.
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