Health Ministry Decides to Remove PM Modi's Photo from Vaccine Certificates in Poll-bound States

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The Covid-19 vaccination certificates in the poll-bound states such as West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Assam, and Kerala, and the Union Territory of Puducherry, will not carry a photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi from now onwards, as decided by the Union Health Ministry under the direction of the Election Commission of India (ECI).

This comes days after the Trinamool Congress (TMC) approached the ECI and called PM Modi’s photo on vaccination certificates “a violation of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC)”. In a complaint ahead of crucial West Bengal elections, the TMC accused PM Modi of stealing the due credit from frontline workers namely doctors, nurses, and healthcare workers.

The elections in these assemblies will take place between March 27 to April 29 and the results will be announced on May 2.

Addressing his concern, TMC leader Derek O’Brien had wrote in the letter to the ECI, “By placing his photograph, name, and message on the provisional certificates issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, he is not only exploiting his post and powers but also stealing commendable credit from the producers of Covid-19 vaccines. He is blatantly appropriating the dues of a vast army of selfless doctors, nurses, and health service workers.”

Acting on the complaint, the Election Commission on March 6 asked the Centre to remove Prime Minister Modi’s photo from the vaccination certificates in these poll-bound states/union territory.

Addressing the poll panel in a letter dated March 9, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan wrote that the directions of ECI will be complied with promptly. “Thereafter, necessary filters in Co-WIN have been applied for the vaccination centres situated in the four states of Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, and Union Territory of Puducherry, as suggested by the Commission,” the letter further reads.