New Delhi: A week after Air India withdrew boarding passes with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s face on it, this time it is the Railways committing a second faux pas. The Indian Railways was found violating the model code of conduct before the 2019 General Elections as passengers reported tea being served in paper cups with “main bhi chowkidaar” (‘I’m also watchman’) written on them. The catchphrase is an integral part of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) poll campaign.
Railways withdraws cup, penalises contractor
The image tweeted by a passenger on Kathgodam Shatabdi went viral and forced the Railways to take action. In a response, Railways said that it had withdrawn the cup and penalised the contractor. The advertisement on the cup was by Sankalp Foundation, a non-government organisation.
An IRCTC spokesperson said, “Reports that tea has been served in cups labelled as “main bhi chowkidar” have been investigated. This was without any prior approval of IRCTC. An explanation has been sought from supervisor/pantry Incharges over dereliction of duty. 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 second instance
This forms the second violation of the model code of conduct by the Railways. Earlier, it was found issuing tickets with Modi’s pictures on them, just like Air India. The Railways also withdrew the tickets later, saying that it was an “unintentional and inadvertent mistake.”
And here’s how Twitter reacted to the incident:
Election commission’s MCC should henceforth be called “Modi’s code of conduct”.. They have managed to get into Railways tea cup.. What next?? pic.twitter.com/1SBma82IYU
— By2 kaphy (@kaphybreak) March 29, 2019
‘Chaiwala’ Modi’s Campaign Reaches Railways, Tea Served in ‘Main Bhi Chowkidar’ Cups https://t.co/aDJu22fT3Z
— Ankita Saxena (@IamAnkitaS_) March 29, 2019
“MEH HUH CHOWKIDAR” IN RAILWAY TEA PAPER CUP IS NOT ILLIGAL COZ NO POLITICAL PARTY’S NAME OR SYMBOL IS MISUSED.
— aBOTANIyOMKARkORWrWKEgALO (@YomkarR) March 29, 2019
PM #Modi doesn’t consult EC before making speeches.
Railways serve tea in a #MainBhiChowkidar cup.
Airline boarding passes carry pictures of Modiji.
State Governors make partisan statements.
The Model Code of Conduct has been reduced to a joke!
— Shama Mohamed (@drshamamohd) March 29, 2019
Great works by Sankalp foundation’s President Rajeev Mittal. Promoting Main Bhi Chowkidar in tea cup in shatabdi express, but after objections by few people railway has removed all the cups.. For me he is real chowkidar. #IndiaWithNaMo#MainBhiChowkidar#ModiSpeaksToBharat pic.twitter.com/tW4SebT1B3
— Chowkidar Girish Sharma (@girishsharma161) March 29, 2019
— Augustine Varkey (@logicalindianz) March 29, 2019
— EKANGARSARAI odf (@OdfEkangarsarai) March 29, 2019
If the official @IRCTCofficial catering service was selling tea in the campaign cups, it would be an issue. (and then the cup would have Indian Railway logo and you’d have put it in the picture for sure), but If a private tea-seller on a train sells these, you can go take a hike. https://t.co/4VTcRAl1Rz
— Be’Havin! (@WrongDoc) March 29, 2019
— Azad (@Azad18535058) March 29, 2019