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EC Stops Release of Modi Biopic Till End of Election, Says Could Disturb Level Playing Field

The decision comes after Vivek Oberoi-starrer PM Narendra Modi got U certificate from Central Board of Film Cetification (CBFC).

News18.com

Updated:April 11, 2019, 7:17 AM IST
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New Delhi: The Election Commission of India has stopped the release of ‘PM Narendra Modi’ till the end of the Lok Sabha elections as it banned the screening of all biopics that serve the interests of any political party during the polls.

In its order, the poll panel said that allowing the film to be displayed could hinder the level playing field.

“Any Biopic material in nature of biography sub serving the purpose of any political entity or any individual entity connected to it, which has potential to disturb level playing field during the election, should not be displayed in Electronic media including cinematograph during the operation of Model Code of Conduct,” the order reads.

The EC’s decision came on the same day that the Central Board of Film Certification green lit the release of the Vivek Oberoi starrer ‘PM Narendra Modi’ and gave it a U-certificate, which would have allowed it the widest possible release on Thursday, the first day of polling.

The Supreme Court had on Tuesday dismissed a petition filed by a Congress activist seeking a stay on the release of the biopic on PM Modi saying the Election Commission would be an "appropriate" place to seek the redressal.

The apex court said it was not entertaining the petition for the stay on the release of the film which would be "premature" in view of the fact that the movie is yet to be certified by the Censor Board.

Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for the Congress activist, had argued in SC that the trailer begins with an overly-enthusiastic young boy selling tea at a railway station, with the narration 'ek mamuli chaiwala desh ka PM ban gaya' (an ordinary tea-vendor became the nation's PM).

He also submitted that the song released with the trailer is BJP's campaign anthem from the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and Modi's popular dialogues have been used in the biopic which states "Fakir hun, Jhola uthha ke chal dunga".

Singhvi said that Prasoonn Joshi, lyricist of the film is the CBFC Chairman. "The visual impact is much stronger", Singhvi said and added that the term 'chowkidaar' is also mentioned in the film with the prefix to the official handle of the PMO.

The senior advocate said that Vivek Oberoi, who is the lead actor is the star campaigner for the party and his father who is the co-producer of the biopic is a card holder of the BJP.

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