New Delhi: The Election Commission has stopped the release of “PM Narendra Modi”, a biopic on the Prime Minister, till national elections are over. The film – scheduled for release tomorrow, coinciding with the start of the Lok Sabha polls – “disturbs the level-playing field”, the election body said.
The commission said that any such “biopic material in the nature of biography/hagiography sub-serving the purposes of any political entity or individual connected to it, which is intended to, or which has the potential to disturb the level playing field during the elections, should not be displayed in the electronic media including cinematograph during the operation of MCC”.
It also said that any complaints on this matter will be examined by a panel headed by a retired Supreme Court or High Court judge.
Yesterday, the Supreme Court had dismissed a petition by a Congress leader seeking to stop the release of the film, saying “too much of court time is wasted on these non-issues”. The top court also said that 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 Congress had alleged that the film’s release close to the national election violated the model code of conduct. The party had 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.
“I hope no political parties across India has any problem, because the Election Commission, the CBFC, and all the courts have cleared all the pleas, and our film is ready for release. We are grateful to each and everyone who have prayed for us,” the film’s producer Sandeep Singh had said in a statement.
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 promptly 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.”