Four railway employees have been suspended after train tickets with photographs of Prime Minister Narenda Modi were sold to passengers at Uttar Pradesh’s Barabanki railway station.
The Election Commission had sought a report over poll code violation from the district magistrate reacting to the media reports that tickets carrying PM Modi’s photo and details of government schemes were in circulation at the railway station.
“The old roll was used by mistake on April 13. Two rail employees have been suspended and further probe is on,” Assistant District Magistrate Sandeep Kumar Gupta told news agency ANI.
Reservation supervisor Santosh Kumar railway employee, Chitra Kumari, are among the four employees who have been suspended for violation of moral code of conduct, which came into effect on March 10 when the Election Commission announced the poll dates.
Mohammed Shabbar Rizvi, one of the passengers, who was issued a ticket with PM’s photo earlier told NDTV that when he tried to complain to the supervisor, he was “rebuked.”
“When I saw the ticket I realised it had the PM’s photo on it.I tried to complain to the supervisor but I was rebuked and asked to leave. As a last resort I called up some people in the media,” Mr Rizvi said. He had gone to the Barabanki railway station to book a ticket from Barabanki to Varanasi on the Ganga Satluj Express.
Mr Rizvi claimed other passengers who were sold the same tickets protested too. A supervisor at the booking office had also told the media that a paper roll with PM Modi’s photo was inserted into the printing machine “by mistake’.
Earlier, the railways had announced it would withdraw the tickets after a Trinamool delegation approached the Election Commission of India accusing the BJP of violating the poll code.
Days after that, social media users reported that tea was being served on a Shatabdi train in paper cups with PM Modi’s campaign line, “Main Bhi Chowkidar (I’m also watchman)”, printed on them.
After a photo of tea served in a “Main Bhi Chowkidar” cup went viral on social media, the railways said it had withdrawn the glasses and penalised the contractor. The railways fined the contractor Rs. 1 lakh, according to a statement.