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Modi’s Photo Removed from Vaccine Certificates in Poll-Bound States

Modi’s Photo Removed from Vaccine Certificates in Poll-Bound States

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NEW DELHI, Mar 11: The centre has removed the photograph of the prime minister Narendra Modi in the certificates issued to the recipients of the Covid-19 vaccine in the poll-bound states and the union territory.

The union health ministry informed the Election Commission of India on Thursday that as per its instructions the government had added the necessary “filters” in the Co-Win software to stop printing Modi’s photograph in the certificates being issued to the recipients of the vaccines in Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and the union territory of Puducherry going to the polls in April-May.

The issue was first raised by the West Bengal ruling party Trinamool Congress which demanding the ECI to remove Modi’s photograph had pointed out that printing his photograph in the certificates would amount to violation of the model code of conduct which had come into force with the announcement of the election dates by the Commission on February 26.

The Election Commission had written to the Ministry on March 5 reiterating its standing instructions on the use of photos of political leaders in government advertisements during elections. The EC had given the Ministry a few days to come up with a technical solution to remove Modi’s photo for vaccine recipients in the poll-bound states and UT, an EC official had said.

The Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan wrote to Deputy Election Commissioner in-charge of West Bengal Sudeep Jain on Tuesday that “technical measures to comply with the directions of ECI have been explored promptly.”

“Therefore, 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 secretary wrote.

“The ministry explained that the certificates were being issued as per the ongoing scheme. The model code of conduct kicked into force later. And the certificate is system generated,” the ministry said.

The vaccines being administered now comprises two doses — to be taken in a gap of 28 days. After being vaccinated, the individuals can download the certificates from the Co-WIN app. After the first dose, a provisional certificate is issued to the beneficiaries and the final certificate is issued after 28 days.

The provisional certificate contains the details of the beneficiary including the name, age, gender, ID verified, location etc., apart from vaccination details, including vaccine name, date of dose, the name of the vaccinator and the place of vaccination. Below these details, a photo of PM Modi has been used with his quotes, ‘dawai bhi kadai bhi‘, written in Hindi and ‘Together, India will defeat Covid-19’, written in English.

(Manas Dasgupta)

 

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