Air India on Monday said it would withdraw boarding passes featuring photos of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani if they are found to be in violation of the Model Code of Conduct, PTI reported.
Air India’s statement comes after former Punjab Director General of Police Shashi Kant tweeted a photograph of his boarding pass which showed photos of Modi and Rupani in an advertisement for the Vibrant Gujarat summit held in January.
“At New Delhi airport today March 25th, 2019. My Air India Boarding Pass, prominently flashes Narendra Modi, “Vibrant Gujrat” [and] Vijay Rupani,” Kant tweeted. “...Wonder why we are wasting public money on this Election Commission, which doesn’t see, hears or speak...”
Air India spokesperson Dhananjay Kumar said the boarding passes seemed to have been printed during the Vibrant Gujarat Summit held in January. “The rolls seem to be the ones left over from the boarding passes printed during the Vibrant Gujarat Summit and the photos are third-party advertisements,” Kumar told PTI. “It has nothing to do with Air India.”
Kumar said the airline was scrutinising if third-party ads fall under the purview of the Model Code of Conduct. “If they do, these will be withdrawn,” Kumar said. “These boarding passes are not just for Gujarat, but are in use across India.”
On March 20, the Indian Railways withdrew train tickets with photos of Modi after the Trinamool Congress complained to the Election Commission on violation of the Model Code of Conduct. The railways said it was a third-party advertisement and the tickets were printed almost a year back.