As the launch of NaMo TV, prior to Lok Sabha elections turned controversial, Election Commission sought an explanation from I&B ministry. Responding to the issue, the I&B ministry said that NaMo TV was not a licensed channel but a direct to home advertorial platform.
As reported by NDTV, “It is a kind of advertising platform launched by the service provider, currently being run on some DTH platforms,” sources said on Wednesday. The sources said no approval is required to run such platforms.
NaMo TV, a 24-hour TV channel which broadcast Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s election campaigns, was launched on March 31. Apart from this the channel also features strong BJP centric contents. The channel logo is a photo of Narendra Modi.
Though the owner of the channel is unknown, soon after the launch BJP official page tweeted, “ Capture the colours of elections. Watch the dance of democracy. Say NaMo again with NaMo TV. Tune in to get real-time coverage of PM Modi’s election campaign and a lot more fascinating content.”
Following the launch of the channel, Congress and Aam Aadmi Party had complained to the election commission that it is a violation of the code of conduct. “Did BJP approach the Media Certification committee established to certify the contents of the telecast and cost of the telecast? If not, why show cause not issued for the violation of MCC?” asked AAP in a letter addressed to Election Commission. Arvind Kejriwal also accused that the launch of channel suggests the absence of a level playing field.
Addressing the press, Congress’ Madhya Pradesh spokesman Neelabh Shukla said, “NaMo is the abbreviation for Narendra Modi. With general elections around the corner, the BJP has started this channel which amounts to a violation of the model code of conduct. We demand that the election commission immediately stops broadcasting on the channel.”
The election commission also sent a separate notice to Doordarshan, asking how a national channel can run an hour-long live broadcast of PM Modi’s public address ‘mein bhi chowkidaar’ on March 31.