- Paper cups on a Shatabdi train carried PM Modi's campaign line
- Railways said it has withdrawn the glasses and penalised the contractor
- It has been claimed on social media that tea was served in the cups twice
Days after the Indian Railways was forced to withdraw tickets with photos of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, social media users today reported that tea was being served on a Shatabdi train in paper cups with PM Modi's campaign line, "Main Bhi Chowkidar (I'm also watchman)", printed on them.
After a photo of tea served in a "Main Bhi Chowkidar" cup was viral on social media, the railways has said it has withdrawn the glasses and penalised the contractor. The railways has imposed a Rs 1 lakh fine on the contractor, according to a statement put out by them.
Multiple tweets said the cups were used on the Kathgodam Shatabdi Express and tagged the Election Commission, saying it is a violation of the Election Code of Conduct.
"It happened today but immediately glasses were withdrawn. Penal action is being taken against the contractor. Action is also being taken against the supervisor," the railway ministry was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
It has been claimed that tea was served in these cups twice. The advertisement on the cup was of an NGO called Sankalp Foundation.
Tea being sold in 'Main Bhi Chowkidar' (I am also a watchman) paper cups in Indian Railways. This photo is from Shatabdi Express.— Uzair Hasan Rizvi (@RizviUzair) March 29, 2019
Does this violate model code of conduct? @SpokespersonECIpic.twitter.com/WQF3RiXzke
Such a cheap advertisement by chowkidars which is against the law. Tea cups were served in Shatabdi train. You will do whatever for winning @BJP4India@narendramodi#Chowkidarssellingchaipic.twitter.com/T3l5Vd4uNH— Abhishek (@Abhi18961729) March 29, 2019
The photo of the tea cup comes days after the railways was found in violation of the poll code for issuing tickets with PM Modi's pictures on them. Later, the railways said that it was an "unintentional and inadvertent mistake".
"Reports that tea has been served in cups labelled as "Main Bhi Chowkidar" have been investigated. This was without any prior approval of IRCTC. Explanation has been sought from supervisor/pantry in-charges over dereliction of duty," an IRCTC(Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation) spokesperson told news agency PTI.
"A fine of Rs 1 lakh fine has been imposed on the service provider. A showcause notice has also been served to the service provider for this misconduct," the spokesperson said.
PM Modi launched the "Main Bhi Chowkidar" campaign this month as a counter to Rahul Gandhi's relentless offensive on the Rafale jet deal. Like him, every BJP leader prefixed their Twitter account with "Chowkidar".
Earlier this week, GoAir withdrew its boarding passes which showed the photographs of PM Modi and Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, plugging the Vibrant Gujarat Summit. A day before that Air India rolled back its passes with the same information and photos of the two leaders.
Recently, the railways withdrew tickets with photos of the Prime Minister after Trinamool complained the Election Commission about them.
(With inputs from PTI and ANI)