The producers of a biopic on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday told the Election Commission that the film has no link with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and that they had put in their personal money to make the film, The Indian Express reported.
Last week, the Election Commission had issued notice to the makers of PM Narendra Modi and the BJP following the Opposition’s demand that the film’s release be postponed till the Lok Sabha elections are over.
PM Narendra Modi, starring Vivek Oberoi, 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 producers of the film – Anand K Pandit, Sandeep Ssingh, Manish Acharya and Suresh Oberoi – have responded to the poll panel’s notice, but the BJP is yet to do so, PTI reported quoting unidentified officials.
“The said film has been made as a commercial venture by our clients and other producers who are from the film industry,” said lawyer Hitesh Jain on behalf of the producers, according to The Indian Express. “If a producer who is producing a movie relating to a political figure and/or political party is presumed [to be] having a political nexus, then every movie made in India involving political leaders [past and present] will be identified as a propaganda movie.”
Jain also claimed that the film was “not violative” of the Model Code of Conduct that has been in place since March 10.
The filmmakers also claimed that postponing the film will amount to violation of freedom of speech and expression and “demeans the intellect of the electorate”, The Times of India reported. The Opposition party’s plea seeking to postpone the release of the film is “baseless, frivolous and mala fide in nature”, they said.
Speaking to IANS, Ssingh said there should not be a political agenda behind this. “We are living in a democratic country where everybody has the freedom of speech. It’s very simple,” Ssingh said. “Everybody is talking without seeing the film and they should have a reason for that. Be it RPI, MNS, DMK, CPI or Congress, they all are raising objections only because of the release date.”