International desk – Indian election commission has stopped the release of a biopic on Prime Minister Narendra Modi until the country’s national polls are over as the commission believes making public the film may vitiate the election level playing field.
Directed by Omung Kumar, the biopic “PM Narendra Modi” depicted Modi’s courage, wisdom, patience, dedication to his people, political strategy and leadership was supposed to release on April 11.
“Any biopic has the potential to disturb the level playing field during the election should not be displayed in the electronic media,” the commission was quoted by Indian broadcaster NDTV.
The staggered national election of India is set to begin on Thursday.
The commission, in its order outlining its decision, said it was vital that “the power of media is not used in such a manner which affects the general conduct” of the elections, reported the broadcaster.
Any complaints on this matter will be examined by a panel headed by a retired Supreme Court or High Court judge, the election commission said.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to consider a petition by a Congress leader seeking to stop the release of the film.
“Too much of court time is wasted on these non-issues,” the court observed.
The top court also said it was for the Election Commission to decide if the film tilted the balance in favour of the ruling BJP, as alleged by the opposition Congress.
The film’s release close to the national election violated the code of conduct, alleged the Congress, which earlier told the Election Commission that the film was “no artistic venture. It is a political venture”.
Hours after the Supreme Court order, the film was certified by the Censor Board, clearing the way for its release.
Last week, Vivek Oberoi, who plays PM Modi in the film, headlined the controversy surrounding the biopic after he targeted the Congress, wondering “if they are scared of the film or of Chowkidar’s danda”.
The Congress responded, saying it’s a “bogus film of a flop hero, a flop producer and is made on a flop person who has proved to be a zero”, according to NDTV.