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UP Railway Officials Land in Soup for Printing Modi's Photo on Train Ticket, EC Suspends Two

UP Railway Officials Land in Soup for Printing Modi's Photo on Train Ticket, EC Suspends Two

The investigation conducted by Barabanki's additional district magistrate revealed that the ticket rolls with Narendra Modi’s pictures were being used for last 10 days though Model Code of Conduct was in place.

Lucknow: Two railway officials were suspended on Monday by the Election Commission after an enquiry was ordered in the issue of train tickets being distributed in Barabanki carrying a picture of Prime Minister Narendra Modi endorsing the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY).

The investigation conducted by additional district magistrate revealed that the ticket rolls with Modi’s pics were being used for last 10 days though Model Code of Conduct was in place.

Speaking to News18, ADM Sandeep Kumar Gupta, who has given the responsibility of investigation by the district magistrate, said, “We went to the railway station for investigation in the matter and it was learnt that on Sunday, tickets were issued to people that carried picture of the Prime Minister. We were told that it was used by mistake. The railway authorities were prompt in taking action and subsequently two railway officials, Santosh Kumar and Chitra Kumari, were suspended.”

“We were told that it was learnt that ticket rolls with picture of PM Modi were not to be used from March 21, however the Model Code of Conduct came into play on March 10 itself,” he added.

The matter came to light on Sunday when one Shabbar Rizvi bought a ticket of the Ganga-Satluj Express (train number 13308) for a relative who had to travel from Barabanki to Varanasi on April 16. Varanasi is the parliamentary constituency of PM Narendra Modi.

Soon after realising that it could be a violation of the MCC, Rizvi tried to point out the error to the person on the other side of the ticket counter. “I bought this ticket on Sunday morning and realised that it carries the picture of our honourable Prime Minister and this somewhere violates the poll code. However, I was shooed away by the person sitting across the ticket counter,” said Rizvi, adding similar tickets were given to several other passengers.

A railway employee at Barabanki Junction, Suresh Kumar, said, "These are old rolls and all of them were replaced. I don’t know how the old roles were used. This will be rectified soon."

The ticket that was given to Shabbar Rizvi with PNR 2360824502 is dated April 14, 2019, and carries an advertisement of PMAY on the right side of the ticket along with a tag line ‘Mera Sapna Ghar Apna’. On the backside of the ticket, is the picture of Modi along with a detailed advertisement of the scheme.

Earlier, too, the Indian Railways was in the line of fire when tea cups with pictures of Modi were distributed on Shatabdi Express. The cups were later withdrawn by the vendor who was responsible for serving tea aboard the premier train.