NaMo TV was a BJP-sponsored channel to telecast PM Narendra Modi’s rallies and meeting during 2019 Lok Sabha elections. (Photographer: T. Narayan/Bloomberg)

NaMo TV Goes Off Air As 2019 Lok Sabha Elections Ends

NaMo TV, a Bharatiya Janata Party-sponsored television channel that publicised Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rallies and other poll messages, has gone off air, people in the party have indicated.

According to them, NaMo TV went off air on May 17 after campaigning for 2019 Lok Sabha elections came to an end. Election results are due Thursday.

"NaMo TV was meant as a tool of BJP campaign for 2019 Lok Sabha elections. With the polls over, it is no longer needed, so effectively from May 17, when all campaigning was paused, it went off air as well,” said a BJP leader, requesting anonymity.

NaMo TV was mired in controversy ever since it went on air.

The chief electoral officer of Delhi had sent a notice to the BJP for "airing election-related content" on NaMo TV even after the silence period began, but the party had said they did not violate the Election Commission’s model code of conduct.

In April, after the Election Commission had directed that all recorded programmes displayed on NaMo TV be pre-certified, the Delhi CEC asked the BJP not to air any content on the platform without its certification.

The Delhi CEC had also said since NaMo TV was sponsored by the BJP, all recorded programmes telecast on the channel has to be pre-certified by the media certification and monitoring committee of Delhi; all political publicity contents displayed without pre-certification be removed immediately.

The Election Commission had issued a notice seeking a report from the Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry on NaMo TV, launched just weeks before the Lok Sabha elections, after opposition parties—including the Congress—asked the poll body to direct the ministry to suspend the channel for violating the poll code.

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