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, hears or speak… pic.twitter.com/7t49cNIlAR
— Shashi Kant IPS (@shashikantips54) March 25, 2019
Shashi questioned in his tweet how can state carrier use boarding passes bearing PM and a state’s chief minister’s picture over it while model code of conduct in the country is in effect and what is election commission doing about it?
Air India Issued Statement
The airline in its clarification has said that the passes having Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani’s pictures imprinted upon them were printed last year and it was part of Vibrant Gujarat campaign. “The rolls seem to be the ones leftover from the boarding passes printed during the Vibrant Gujarat Summit and the photos are third-party advertisements. It has nothing to do with Air India. These boarding passes are not just for Gujarat, but are in use across India,” Kumar said.
Spokesperson Dhananjay Kumar also said that the campaign printed on the boarding pass is a part of third-party advertisements, would be withdrawn if they are found to be in violation of the Model Code of Conduct. “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,” he concluded.
Flying after Indian Railways
The similar issue had cropped up with Indian Railways on March 20, when Trinamool Congress complained to the Election Commission about rail tickets with photos of the prime minister on them. Later the tickets were withdrawn by the railways giving a similar explanation that it was a third-party ad and leftover from a pack of tickets printed a year earlier. Indian railways had immediately instructed other railway zones to withdraw the tickets.