NaMo TV sparks controversy

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The airing of the NaMo TV, which was launched on March 31, ahead the Lok Sabha elections has sparked controversy within the political scenario.

In a tweet post its launch, PM Modi posted a tweet urging people to watch his interaction with ‘Chowkidars’ live on NaMoTV.

The Election Commission has asked for a report on NaMo TV from the Information and Broadcasting ministry amid opposition allegations that the ruling party has launched the channel to push its campaign in a serious violation of the code of conduct in place for the April-May national election.

On Wednesday, top sources in the Information and Broadcasting ministry claimed that NaMo TV is an “advertising platform” that does not need the government’s approval for telecast.

However, a Tata Sky tweet on NaMo TV saying “Hindi news service which provides the latest breaking news on national politics” mystifies the suspicious air over the channel.

The broadcast ministry said that it “is not a normal channel” and does not figure in the official list of approved channels of the ministry. It is not on the list of permitted private satellite TV channels on the ministry’s website.

According to sources, “It is a kind of advertising platform launched by the service provider, currently being run on some DTH platforms,” and that no approval is required to run such platforms.

The NaMo TV is a 24-hour channel with PM’s name and image for its logo, which is available on various DTH and cable TV platforms. It has been airing Modi’s speeches and interviews of various BJP leaders. BJP’s official Twitter handles and those linked to the party have been urging viewers to tune in to ‘NaMo TV’ and the NaMo app for the PM’s rallies and speeches.

It may be noted that although all major DTH platforms are hosting the channel, it is not clear who is the owner of the channel or how it is funded.

The party’s oppositions both the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) have complained to the Election Commission on the broadcast of the channel.

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