The “PM Narendra Modi” – the film on the life of incumbent Prime Minister – will not be released on Thursday, as the Election Commission has barred screening of any biopic on any politician or political entity as long as the Lok Sabha polls are not over.
“Any biopic material in the nature of biography / hagiography sub-serving the purposes of any political entity or any individual entity 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 electronic media including cinematograph during the operation of the MCC (Model Code of Conduct),” the EC said in its order on Wednesday.
The MCC came into force across the country on March 10, the day the Election Commission declared the schedule of the Lok Sabha polls as well as the polling for the state assembly elections in Arunachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim and Odisha.
The EC also ordered that any poster or publicity material “concerning any such certified content, which either depicts a candidate (including prospective) for the furtherance (or purported to further) of electoral prospect, directly or indirectly, shall not be put to display in electronic media in the area where MCC is in operation”.
The release of the film was deferred last week on grounds of pending certification clearance from the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), which it secured yesterday. The original release date for biopic PM Narendra Modi was April 12. It was moved ahead to April 5 by the producers citing public demand.
Before the CBFC certification yesterday, the Supreme Court dismissed a plea filed by a Congress activist seeking a stay on the release of the biopic and asked him to raise the matter before the ECI. The Supreme Court said it dismissing the petition for the stay on the release of the film as it was “premature” since the movie was yet to be certified by the CBFC. The court said in its judgement that even if the film was released on April 11, it would be appropriate for the plaintiff to seek redressal from the Election Commission.
The Congress activist had sought a stay on the biopic’s release till the completion of the Lok Sabha elections. In his plea, he had alleged that it was designed to “manipulate, influence and impress viewers and voters”.
The actor Vivek Oberoi feels that he has not received any support from Bollywood on his upcoming biopic PM Narendra Modi at this crucial time.