Mamata Banerjee’s Image On Vaccine Certificates, Not PM’s; Know Why

Kolkata: Some of those getting vaccinated in West Bengal are receiving certificates with Mamata Banerjee’s pictures, and not that of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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Justifying the move, which could act as the latest point of conflict between the state government and the Centre, an official said that the chief minister’s image is being used only on COVID-19 vaccine certificates being issued to people in the 18-45 age group.

Their logic is that the state government is procuring vaccines for the 18-45 beneficiaries with its resources, and hence the chief minister’s picture is appropriate. A message accompanies Mamata’s picture – ‘Be Alert, Be Safe’, in Bengali and English.

State minister Firhad Hakim, who is also the chairman of Kolkata Municipal Corporation board of administrators defended the move.

“All information regarding inoculation is there on the certificate. Starting from the batch number of the vaccine, there is also CoWIN Registration number. Besides that, there’s a special message of the CM,” Hakim told PTI.

He added that states like Punjab, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand are doing likewise.

When the vaccination drive was rolled out in India on January 16, those who got inoculated received certificates with Modi’s picture.

It triggered a controversy after dates of assembly elections were announced for four states – including West Bengal – and a union territory. Trinamool Congress claimed that the PM’s image couldn’t be used under model code of conduct for elections.

Modi’s photo was removed from certificates in poll-bound states till the election process was in operation, and was reinstated last month.

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