Kolkata: Amid the ongoing Centre versus West Bengal tussle, the state government has replaced PM Modi’s photo on Covid-19 vaccine certificates with that of chief minister Mamata Banerjee. Justifying the move, the state government said that this is only on the certificates being issued to people falling between the age group of 18 and 45 as the state government is procuring these vaccines, not the Centre.
An official told news agency PTI beneficiaries of 45 plus are getting certificates of vaccination with the photograph of Prime Minister Narendra Modi as in other parts of the country, but those falling in the 18-44 age bracket have photographs of Mamata Banerjee as the state government is using its resources to procure these vaccines.
“The government has started procuring vaccines directly from the manufacturers and arranging for inoculating the population. That is the reason it has been decided to use photograph of the CM on the certificates,” the news agency quoted an official as saying.
State minister for housing and outgoing mayor of the city Firhad Hakim, who is also the chairman of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation board of administrator, said other states are also taking similar steps.
“All information regarding inoculation is there on the certificate. Starting from the batch number of the vaccine, there is also CoWIN Registration number. Besides, a special message of the CM,” Hakim told PTI adding that Punjab, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand have already replaced PM’s photo with that of their respective chief ministers.
PM Modi’s photo on Covid-19 vaccine certificates triggered a controversy ahead of the state elections and the photo was removed from certificates in the poll-bound states for the time being. The photo reappeared after the stipulated period was over.
From May 1, the third phase of the vaccination against Covid-19 has begun in which state governments are also procuring vaccines directly from vaccine makers.