Election Commission To Take Final Call On Release Of Modi Biopic On Friday
The Election Commission said it will take a final call on the release of a Hindi biopic on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, as opposition raised the pitch for deferring the release of the film by citing poll code violation.
“We have sought comments from the producer of the movie and also from BJP's general secretary...that also has been received. The file is under examination and it has been listed for tomorrow (before the Election Commission),” Deputy Election Commissioner Sandeep Saxena told reporters.
The commission will take a final call tomorrow, he said.
The official said the Election Commission's decision, based on the directives of Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and Election Commissioners Ashok Lavasa and Sushil Chandra, will be a response to the complaint raised by the Congress in this regard.
Saxena said the commission has already told the Central Board of Film Certification to take a call on the issue as it had "no role" in the issue.
The Election Commission officials said as Lavasa and Chandra were travelling to south India, the decision could not be taken earlier.
The release of the biopic titled "PM Narendra Modi" has been pushed indefinitely, its producer Sandip Ssingh said on Thursday.
The film was scheduled to be screened across the country on Friday.
Sources in the CBFC said the film was yet to get a clearance.
The biopic was originally set to release on April 12, but its producers had advanced it by a week, claiming "public demand".
The film, fronted by Vivek Oberoi and directed by "Mary Kom" maker Omung Kumar, was in the news with various political parties saying that releasing it less than a week before the general elections begin was a violation of the Model Code of Conduct.
The Congress made a formal complaint to the Election Commission over the release of the film.
Opposition parties, including the Congress, said the film would give undue advantage to the BJP in electioneering and its release should be deferred till the elections are over.
The seven-phased Lok Sabha polls begin on April 11 and end on May 19.
The model code of conduct, which among other things, calls for a level-playing field for all parties and candidates, came into force on March 10 as the elections were announced by the Election Commission.