EC airs 'displeasure' over Rlys' poll code breach


The Election Commission on Tuesday expressed displeasure over Indian Railways' approach towards enforcing the model code of conduct after allegations that poll norms were violated with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's picture on tickets and the slogan "Main Bhi Chowkidar" on teacups.

The poll panel has issued a notice to the Railways, asking it to submit a report by Thursday on the slogan on teacups, so that it can take a call on whether it was a poll code violation.

The issue came to the fore after a passenger on the Kathgodam Shatabdi tweeted a picture of teacups with the slogan, which went viral.

However, the Railways said it has withdrawn the cup and penalised the contractor.

"It has come to the notice of the commission that teacups were provided to passengers in the train of the Indian Railways by the NGO, namely "Sankalp", which contained the political slogan of the Bharatiya Janata Party and such matter is closely related to violation of the Model Code of Conduct," according to the notice.

On the ticket issue, too, the EC has reprimanded the national transporter.

"The Commission expresses its considered displeasure over the non-compliance of the commission's instructions especially when the Model Code of Conduct is in force and the lackadaisical approach towards enforcing the Code. The commission has also decided that disciplinary action be taken against the officer-in-charge and a report be submitted to the Election Commission within a week," it said.

However, sources in Railways said the reply to the notice on the ticket issue had been sent to the EC on April 1 and it has complied with everything.

In a separate notice to the Secretary to Union Ministry of Civil Aviation, the commission also expressed "serious displeasure" over Air India's failure to respond to its show-cause notice for using boarding passes with Modi's photo on them and the airline's "lackadaisical approach" towards enforcing the Model Code of Conduct.

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EC airs 'displeasure' over Rlys' poll code breach


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