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Notice Sent to Makers Of Narendra Modi Biopic

Posted in S. Asia

Published on March 31, 2019 with No Comments

The Delhi Chief Electoral Office has said it was awaiting a reply from the makers of a biopic of Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, scheduled to be released on April 5, after it felt that the film violated the model code of conduct. 

East Delhi Returning Officer K Mahesh, has suo motu issued notices to the production house and music company behind the film “PM Narendra Modi” and two leading newspapers for publishing advertisements of the film.

Delhi Chief Electoral Officer Ranbir Singh said the concerned parties have been given time till March 30 to respond.He said the broad position is that any political advertisement circulated on electronic media or social media has to be pre-certified by the Media Certification and Monitoring Committee.“If any pre-certified political or surrogate advertisement is circulated, it is violation of model code of conduct. Whosever has done it is given an opportunity to explain their stand,” the official said.The returning officer also suggested that the Election Commission of India (ECI) could form guidelines for political films released during elections.“We are looking into it. We will send the recommendations to the poll body,” Singh said.

The Congress party has moved the EC to stall the release of the film on the grounds that it is a politically-motivated film aimed at getting extra mileage for the BJP in the Lok Sabha polls. A Congress delegation comprising Kapil Sibal, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, R P N Singh, and Randeep Singh Surjewala, went to the Election Commission with a representation seeking stalling of the film’s release just ahead of the polls.

“The purpose of this film is only political ― to get some extra mileage in the elections. We believe, it is not just a corrupt practice, but the very launch of the film is motivated,” Sibal told reporters outside the Election Commission (EC). He alleged that three of the producers belonged to the BJP and actor Oberoi was also from the ruling party. “So, the whole purpose is to gain advantage. This is violative of all norms. This is no artistic venture. It is a political venture and that is what we have told the Election Commission and should not be allowed. It does not allow for a level playing field,” the senior Congress leader said.  “The content, timing and motive (of the movie) is political,” Sibal said.

he Opposition’s objections to the successful testing of the anti-satellite (A-SAT) missile are nothing more than “clerical”, Union finance minister Arun Jaitley said after leaders from different parties complained to the Election Commission (EC) for an alleged violation of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC), and blamed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for trying to take credit for a programme initiated by previous governments.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that India had successfully tested an A-SAT missile to shoot down a Low Earth Orbit Indian satellite, located 300km in outer space, making India the fourth country after the United States, Russia and China, to have successfully carried out this technological mission.

Several Opposition parties congratulated the scientists involved in the launch but questioned the timing of the announcement, which comes a fortnight before the Lok Sabha elections that start on April 11.

Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee also took to Twitter, saying, “Today’s announcement is yet another limitless drama and publicity mongering by Modi desperately trying to reap political benefits at the time of election. This is a gross violation of Model Code of Conduct.”

“We are lodging a complaint with the Election Commission,” she added.

Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Sitaram Yechury wrote a letter to the Election Commission of India, which said: “This announcement comes in the midst of the ongoing election campaign where the Prime Minister himself is a candidate. This is clearly a violation of the Model Code of Conduct.”

Immediately after PM’s address, there was a perception being created by the ruling party that the government did not need to take permission from them for announcements about national security. However, later, the EC decided to set up a committee to probe the matter.


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