- Ex-Punjab cop had tweeted a pic of his boarding pass with PM Modi's ad
- The boarding pass also featured Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani
- Indian railways also was forced to withdraw tickets with photos of PM
National carrier Air India has decided to "roll back" boarding passes carrying photos of Prime Minister Narendra Modi amid criticism over alleged Model Code of Conduct violation. Days earlier, the Indian Railways was forced to withdraw tickets carrying photos of the Prime Minister after Trinamool Congress complained the Election Commission about them.
"Air India has decided to roll back the boarding passes of Vibrant Gujarat which had photos of the prime minister and the Gujarat chief minister," news agency PTI quoted Air India spokesperson Dhananjay Kumar as saying.
Earlier today, Shashi Kant, a former top cop of Punjab Police, had tweeted a photograph of an Air India boarding pass issued at the New Delhi airport. Along with PM Modi, the boarding pass featured Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani.
"At New Delhi airport today March 25th, 2019. My Air India Boarding Pass, prominently flashes Narendra Modi, "Vibrant Gujrat" & Vijay Rupani. Picture of boarding pass is below. Wonder why we are wasting public money on this Election Commission, which doesn''t see, hear or speak...," he tweeted.
At New Delhi airport today March 25th, 2019.- Shashi Kant IPS (@shashikantips54) March 25, 2019
My Air India Boarding Pass, prominently flashes Narendra Modi, "Vibrant Gujrat" & Vijay Rupani. Picture of boarding pass is below.
Wonder why we are wasting public money on this Election Commission, which doesn't see, hears or speak... pic.twitter.com/7t49cNIlAR
The airline had clarified that the boarding passes were "third-party advertisements" that were printed during the Vibrant Gujarat Summit held in January. The advertisements would be removed if they were found to be in violation of the Model Code of Conduct, it had said.
"We are scrutinising if third-party ads fall within the purview of the Model Code of Conduct. If they do, these will be withdrawn. These boarding passes are not just for Gujarat, but are in use across India," the Air India spokesperson had said.
Last week, the Indian Railways was forced to withdraw tickets with photos of the prime minister after the Trinamool Congress complained to the Election Commission about them. The railways had then also said that it was a third-party ad and leftover from a pack of tickets printed a year earlier.
In February, the Civil Aviation Ministry had "requested" airlines flying on domestic routes to give their passengers a letter listing the "achievements and initiatives" of the Modi government in the aviation sector.
The letter written by Union Minister Suresh Prabh stated that "massive investment is planned for development of airports in next five years" and "six waterdromes are also going to be connected under UDAN-3".
With inputs from agencies