Prime Minister Narendra Modi's photograph has been taken off vaccine certificates in five states where elections will be held next month, reports ANI.
The Union Health Ministry has applied filters to CoWIN platform to ensure the photo does not appear on vaccination certificates in the five pollbound states to comply with the model code of conduct.
Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Manipur and Goa will be held between February 10 and March 7 in seven phases with the counting of votes to be held on March 10.
Model Code of Conduct has come into effect with the announcement of the election schedule by the Election Commission. In March last year, Union Health Ministry had taken a similar initiative during the elections held in Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Puducherry as suggested by the Election Commission following complaints raised by some political parties.
The Congress had then alleged that the vaccination drive had become a vehicle for the PM’s "personal publicity," rather than an exercise to save people's lives. At the time, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had launched the "Zimmidaar Kaun (Who is responsible)"campaign, targeting the BJP government over the vaccination programme.
Last month, the Kerala High Court had dismissed a petition challenging PM Modi's photograph on vaccination certificates. The court had imposed a fine of Rs1 lakh on the petitioner, saying "Why are you ashamed of our Prime Minister... The petition seems to be filed with political motives and a publicity motivated petition. Therefore, it deserves to be dismissed with a heavy cost".
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