The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation on Friday said paper cups with “Main Bhi Chowkidar” slogan printed on them used to serve tea on board trains have been withdrawn. The move came after a Twitter user shared a photo of a paper cup on board the Kathgodam Shatabdi Express and claimed it violated the Model Code of Conduct.
IRCTC said the licensee who printed the slogans on paper cups did not take prior permission from the body. “Main bhi Chowkidar” is a slogan of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, which refers to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s assertion that he is a chowkidar (watchman) of the country.
“The space in cups and other such materials is used for paid publicity by the licensees as per the agreement,” the IRCTC said in a statement, according to NDTV. “The licensees are supposed to take prior permission for printing advertisements from IRCTC. However, in this case no such approval has been taken.”
IRCTC said that a fine of Rs 1 lakh has been imposed on the licensee. “A few cups were used only today for a short period,” it added. “The cups have since been withdrawn.”
The railway body said that supervisory staff or staff in charge of the pantry overlooked the licensee’s lapses. “Explanation has been called for, from the on-board supervisory staff/pantry in-charges for carelessness,” it said.
Last week, the Indian Railways decided to withdraw tickets with Modi’s image on them, after the Trinamool Congress complained to the Election Commission that the BJP was violating the Model Code of Conduct.
The 2019 General Elections will be held in seven phases from April 11 to May 19, and the results declared on May 23.