Election Commission of India seeks report from Bengal on COVID-19 vaccination certificates carrying Modi’s photo; TMC alleges violation of Model Code of Conduct

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The Election Commission of India has sought a report from the West Bengal chief electoral officer after the Trinamool Congress complained that photos of PM Narendra Modi were being printed on COVID-19 vaccination certificates in violation of the model code of conduct ahead of the crucial assembly polls in the state.

Trinamool MP Derek O’Brien had said earlier this week, ‘Elections declared. PM photo still brazenly appearing on #COVID19 documents. Trinamool @AITCofficial taking this up strongly with Election Commission @ECISVEEP.”

The Trinamool Congress on Tuesday had approached the poll panel about Modi’s image on vaccination certificates generated through the Co-Win website calling it a violation of the model code of conduct in Bengal and other poll-bound states.

The model code came into force on 26 February, the day Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora declared the schedules for assembly polls in five states namely West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Kerala and Puducherry.

The latest development comes a day after the ECI asked officials to remove hoardings carrying Modi’s photos from petrol pumps in poll-bound states. However, critics had alleged that this was to help the BJP given the prevalent anger among voters over the extraordinary hike in fuel price in India.

Bengal goes to polls in eight stages starting 27 March.

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