New Delhi: Air India on Monday decided to roll back issuance of boarding passes featuring the image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with an ad of the Vibrant Gujarat summit, preventing a potential backlash from the Opposition.
“Air India has decided to roll back boarding passes with the PM’s picture,” said an airline spokesperson. The decision comes soon after some passengers flagged the issue on Monday, asking if it wasn’t a violation of the model code of conduct.
Former Punjab DGP Shashi Kant on Monday tweeted a photograph of his boarding pass issued at the New Delhi airport, questioning how pictures of the Prime Minister and Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani could be on it.
“At New Delhi airport today March 25th, 2019. My Air India Boarding Pass, prominently flashes Narendra Modi, “Vibrant Gujrat” & Vijay Rupani. Picture of the boarding pass is below. Wonder why we are wasting public money on this Election Commission, which doesn’t see, hear or speak…,” he tweeted.
An hour later an airline spokesperson said the national carrier has decided to rollback the boarding passes.
The issue had the potential to snowball into a major controversy ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. What has come as a surprise is how the airline could carry on with the ad of the Vibrant Gujarat Summit even two months after the event.
The move comes close on the heels of the Indian Railways deciding, a couple of weeks back, to end issuance of reservation tickets with the Prime Minister’s image at the back to promote the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaaan initiative.
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
Earlier this month, Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress had made a representation before the Election Commission questioning the motive of the government in printing railway reservation tickets with the PM’s image. Days later, Railways decided to stop issuing tickets with the PM’s image.