Sources said the EC wrote to the Health Ministry reiterating its standing instructions gainst promoting the party in power through government means when the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) was in force. The TMC had approached the West Bengal Chief Electoral Officer to complain that the use of PM’s photo was a “blatant misuse of official machinery” and violated the MCC. The EC has stopped the use of PM’s pictures in posters and websites of government welfare schemes during earlier elections as well. In 2017, when Goa, Manipur, Punjab, Uttarakhand and UP were headed to polls, it had ordered the removal of Modi’s picture from the PMAY site. The Ministry was instructed to implement the instructions with regard to the vaccination certificates being distributed in West Bengal, Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Puducherry. The Election Commission’s decision came after the Health Ministry, in its reply to the panel, said the vaccination drive was an ongoing government initiative that had started much before the MCC came into force a week ago. To comply with the EC’s direction, the Health Ministry will now have to update its software to introduce a filter that would mask the PM’s picture on the certificate, sources said.