A Congress delegation met Election Commission officials on Monday to seek the stalling of the release of a biopic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi just ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, PTI reported. The Opposition party claimed the content, timing and motive of the film PM Narendra Modi is political.
PM Narendra Modi will be released on April 5, a week before the elections begin on April 11. The last phase of the elections will be held on May 19 and the results will be declared on May 23.
The biopic is politically-motivated and aimed at getting extra mileage for the Bharatiya Janata Party in the elections, the Congress said. “We believe, it is not just a corrupt practice, but the very launch of the film is motivated,” Congress leader Kapil Sibal said after the meeting. He said three producers of the film and the lead actor, Vivek Oberoi, belonged to the BJP.
“So, the whole purpose is to gain advantage,” Sibal said. “This is violative of all norms. This is no artistic venture. It is a political venture and that is what we have told the Election Commission and should not be allowed. It does not allow for a level playing field.”
The delegation also comprised party leaders Abhishek Manu Singhvi, RPN Singh and Randeep Singh Surjewala.
The film features Vivek Oberoi as the prime minister through various stages of his life – including his early years with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and his long stint as chief minister of Gujarat – leading up to his party’s victory in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Last week, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam had also approached the Election Commission seeking a ban on the biopic until the elections are completed. The Nationalist Congress Party’s cultural wing and the Goa unit of National Students’ Union of India had also sought curbs.
On March 20, a district election officer of the East Delhi Parliamentary constituency served a show cause notice to leading Hindi newspaper Dainik Bhaskar, music company T-Series and film production company Legend Global Studio for allegedly violating the Model Code of Conduct with a front-page advertisement of the biopic. They have to respond by March 30.