After tickets, Railways withdraws 'Main Bhi Chowkidar' tea cups
After about a week of discontinuing tickets with PM Narendra Modi's picture, Indian Railways has withdrawn their tea cups printed with BJP's campaign line, 'Mai Bhi Chowkidar' (I am also a watchman). The picture of the tea cups having the line written went viral recently. Earlier, Air India and GoAir also rolled back the boarding passes of Vibrant Gujarat Submit 2019.
Does this violate Model Code of Conduct, asks Twitter user
Penal action being taken against contractor, supervisor, says Rail ministry
Many tweeted the picture of the cups that was being used in Kathgodam-Shatabdi Express, asking the Election Commission if that violates the Model Code of Conduct. In a statement, Railway Ministry said, "It happened today (Friday) but immediately glasses were withdrawn. Penal action is being taken against the contractor. Action is also being taken against the supervisor." Reportedly, the tea cups were used twice.
Explanation has been sought from supervisor/pantry in-charges: IRCTC
According to an IRCTC (Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation) spokesperson, "This was without any prior approval of IRCTC. An explanation has been sought from supervisor/pantry in-charges over dereliction of duty." "A fine of Rs. 1 lakh has been imposed on the service provider. A show-cause notice has also been served to the service provider for this misconduct," the spokesperson added.
PM Modi launched 'Main Bhi Chowkidar' campaign on March 16
PM Narendra Modi launched 'Main Bhi Chowkidar' campaign on March 16, to counter Congress President Rahul Gandhi's Chowkidar Chor hai jibe. Modi tweeted about the campaign, and added 'chowkidar' prefix to his Twitter handle, which eventually his supporters and many BJP leaders started doing too.
Earlier, Railways withdrew tickets with PM's picture after TMC's complaint
Earlier on March 21, the Indian Railways had to discontinue the issuance of railway tickets with the pictures of PM Modi after Trinamool Congress (TMC) reported the issue to the Election Commission of India. The TMC delegation accused Bharatiya Janata Party of violating the Model Code of Conduct. The country is set to go into a seven-phase general election, starting April 11 onwards.
Air India, GoAir, rolled back boarding passes earlier this week
Earlier this week, Air India and GoAir also withdrew their boarding passes, which featured the pictures of PM Modi and Gujarat CM, Vijay Rupani, in a Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2019 advertisement from January. The controversy surfaced when a picture of the boarding pass was tweeted.
Model Code of Conduct allows no advertisements on government property
Model Code of Conduct is a set of guidelines issued by the Election Commission to keep a check on the political parties in the run-up to the elections and comes into effect after the announcement of the elections. Political parties can't advertise using government's money on any public property like train, airplane and government infrastructure. Any public undertaking can't bear endorsement for parties.