No PM picture without permission from PMO

NEW DELHI: The government has sent a memorandum to Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), making it mandatory for the body to approach the PMO through MSME ministry to seek approval before publishing photographs of the Prime Minister.

The move comes over a month after the photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Khadi and Village Industries Commission's diary and calendar kicked off a row.

The memo has debunked the claims made by KVIC's top officials that it had sought the PMO clearance before replacing Mahatma Gandhi's picture with Modi's in its 2017 wall calendar and diary.

The detailed memorandum issued by the Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) ministry outlines that the "issue pertaining to publishing the photographs of Prime Minister in the diary and calendar of KVIC has raised the following points which need to be followed by KVIC in the future".

According to the guidelines, "the KVIC has to send proposals for approval of Prime Minister's Office through the Ministry of MSME which is the administrative ministry of KVIC".Moreover, KVIC has to ensure that the office of minister/secretary is kept informed of any such major event/activities which are undertaken by the body as a part of its promotional activity.The ministry has also stressed upon the use of only official email ids for correspondence purposes and not private email ids, saying the necessary instructions in this regard may be issued to the officers concerned to scrupulously follow the same.

When contacted, KVIC chairman VK Saxena refused to comment on the issue.

Saxena had earlier said there is "no rule or tradition" that only Mahatma Gandhi's picture can be published on these items.The explanation came amid protests from various sections of society especially Gandhians and from opposition political parties, who alleged that KVIC is trying to "replace" Mahatma Gandhi with Modi through such acts.