Air India has decided to "roll back" its boarding passes bearing photographs of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani after they came in for criticism.The airline had earlier said the passes, featuring the photographs which were third-party advertisements, would be withdrawn if they are found to be in violation of the Model Code of Conduct.
"Air India has decided to roll back the boarding passes of Vibrant Gujarat which had photos of the prime minister and the Gujarat chief minister," said Air India spokesperson Dhananjay Kumar.Former Punjab DGP Shashi Kant on Monday tweeted a photograph of his boarding pass issued at the New Delhi airport, questioning how pictures of the two leaders could be on it.
"At New Delhi airport today March 25th, 2019. My Air India Boarding Pass, prominently flashes Narendra Modi, "Vibrant Gujrat" & Vijay Rupani. Picture of boarding pass is below. Wonder why we are wasting public money on this Election Commission, which doesn't see, hear or speak...," he tweeted.
The Air India spokesperson said the boarding passes seemed to be printed during the Vibrant Gujarat Summit held in January and the photographs were part of the advertisement from 'third parties'."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. It has nothing to do with Air India. These boarding passes are not just for Gujarat, but are in use across India," Kumar said.
On March 20, tickets with photos of the prime minister were withdrawn by the railways after the Trinamool Congress complained to the Election Commission about them. The railways had also said that it was a third-party ad and leftover from a pack of tickets printed a year earlier. The national transporter had instructed zones to withdraw the tickets.