Storm in a Tea Cup: “Main bhi Chowkidaar” paper cups used to serve tea on Shatabdi Express

Written by SabrangIndia | Published on: March 30, 2019
After the picture of tea served in paper cups bearing the “Main Bhi Chowkidaar” campaign branding went viral on social media, questions are being raised about a possible violation of the election code of conduct.

Pictures of tea being served on board the 12040 Kathgodam Shatabdi Express was tweeted and shared by multiple people. Some of the images may be viewed here:

After coming in for scathing criticism at this serious lapse, the railways accepted the blunder and initiated penal action. In a statement released soon after, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd. (IRCTC) said, “Space in cups and other materials is used for paid publicity by the licensees as per agreement. The licensees are required to take prior permission for printing advertisements However, in this case, no such approval has been taken.”

The IRCTC has slapped a fine of Rs 1 lakh on the licensee and served them a show cause notice. They also admitted in their statement, “These lapses were overlooked by onboard supervisory staff/pantry incharges.”

The entire statement may be read here:

The cups have since been withdrawn. This comes just days after Priminister Narendra Modi’s picture appeared on railway tickets and airline boarding passes, prompting the Election Commission to write to the Railway and Aviation Ministries.