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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Centre ‘Nudges’ Petrol Pumps to Put ‘Modi ki Guarantee’ Hoardings: Report

Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, political parties are preparing their campaigns to compete with full might. In the midst of this, state-run petrol pumps and fuel retailers have begun to replace existing hoardings and banners of Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led central government’s welfare schemes with new ones displaying the BJP’s poll slogan ‘Modi ki Guarantee’, which reads ‘Modi’s guarantee means a better life’, as well as a photo of PM handing out cylinders to beneficiaries of the government’s flagship scheme, Ujjwala Yojana.

According to the report by The Times of India, the managers of all the state-run fuel outlets have been reportedly asked to “cooperate” to ensure the new flex hoardings are in place by Wednesday and to report to respective field officers if the hoarding vendors do not report at their assigned outlets.

The decision to put up the ‘Modi ki Guarantee’ hoardings has been taken on an informal “nudge” from the ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, and will cost the public sector fuel companies – IndianOil, Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum, own or operate 90% of about 88,000 petrol pumps in the country – several hundred crores, the report added.

However, these hoardings would be removed once the Election Commission (ECI) announces the schedule for the much-awaited general elections and the model code of conduct comes into force. Earlier in March 2021, ahead of the assembly elections in West Bengal, Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, EC had, acting on a complaint from Trinamool Congress, asked petrol pumps to remove all hoardings carrying PM Modi’s picture.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came up with the poll slogan “Modi ki Guarantee” in the recently held legislative assembly elections of the five states including Rajasthan Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana and Mizoram where the saffron party emerged victorious in the three Hindi-belt states with a thumping majority.

(With agency inputs)

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