Prime Minister Modi’s photo removed from Covid vaccine certificates – here’s why

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's photo removed from Covid vaccination certificates issued by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

New Delhi, May 2: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s photo has been removed from COVID-19 vaccination certificates issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. “Together, India will defeat COVID-19,” the CoWIN certificates had long borne images of PM Modi, along with the caption. Now, the quote remains with an attribution to the Prime Minister on the certificates.

A social media user, Sandeep Manudhane, pointed this out on X, formerly Twitter, and shared a picture of the Covid-19 vaccine certificate. “Modi ji no more visible on Covid Vaccine certificates. Just downloaded to check – yes, his pic is gone,” he wrote.

Sandeep attributed the removal of PM Modi’s picture to the Model Code of Conduct (MCC). Ministry of Health and Family Welfare officials told The Print that the image was removed according to the Election Commission of India’s (ECI) directions, as the MCC is in place during the ongoing seven-phase Lok Sabha 2024 elections.  

Notably, this is not the first time Modi’s photo has been removed from Covid-19 vaccine certificates. In 2022, The Print reported that on the ECI’s directions, the Prime Minister’s picture was removed in poll-bound states, including Goa, Manipur, Uttarakhand, Punjab, and Uttar Pradesh. 

Many users on X speculated that the most recent admission regarding Covishield—a product made by the Serum Institute of India (SII) under license from AstraZeneca—was the reason behind the alteration in the immunization certificate. However, it turned out to be the Model Code of Conduct. 

Netizens react

Another social media user, Santosh Iyer, also said the same, “Yes, you are correct. I checked and find that Modi’s photo is no longer visible on the covid vaccination certificates ! Ha!Ha!Ha! [sic].”

“It is because MCC. If he comes back to power again you will find his photo [sic],” one more person commented. 

“Sir, expect you to not mislead people. This has nothing to do with what you are hinting at. It is due to model code of conduct and ECI guidelines. In all poll bound states the photo was removed even…[sic],” the fourth user reacted. 

“It was removed earlier also if you gave ID as passport for international travel. That was done after many country immigration confused the picture with the picture of visitor and refused to let him in [sic],” the fifth user said. 

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