Right after the ban on the releasing of ‘PM Narendra Modi’ movie before Lok Sabha elections, the Election Commission of India has ordered to close down Namo TV- a channel that had come up just before the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections.
The channel has recently cropped up in the channel list in almost every DTH service in the country. It has been the center of controversies since it started airing on March 31st. Asked upon its code of conduct issues in the background of Lok Sabha elections, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry had said in a reply to the Election Commission that the channel was a “platform service” of the DTH operators and that it did not require uplinking/ downlinking permissions from the government. The channel aired exclusively the speeches of Modi and other pro-BJP content.
Before making the official judgement on NaMo TV, EC had ruled that the channel should be subjected to content certification regime, like all other political advertisements during the model code period. And later by Wednesday evening, EC clarified that the ban on screening of the biopic ‘PM Narendra Modi’ before the elections are done with also applies to NaMo TV, which also cannot be aired during the poll period.
The EC order to ban the Modi biopic had stated that “.. any poster or publicity material concerning any such certified content, which either depicts a candidate (including prospective) for the furtherance (or purported to further) of electoral prospects, directly or indirectly, shall not be put on display in electronic media in the area where MCC is in force.”
On Tuesday evening, the Election Commission had ticked off Doordarshan for giving ‘excessive coverage’ to the party in power.
Reports are that the EC has decided to add expenses incurred on advertising on NaMo TV to the Bharatiya Janata Party’s expenditure account for Lok Sabha elections. There is no minimum amount settled on how much political parties can spend on an election.