The Election Commission on Wednesday directed the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to provide a report on the launch of NaMo TV a week before the Lok Sabha elections, ANI reported. The poll body’s order is based on a complaint by the Aam Aadmi Party that said the launch of such a channel is against the principle of creating a level-playing field for all parties.
The channel is dedicated to live coverage of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s campaigns. The channel, named after Modi, is available on all major Direct to Home platforms.
The Aam Aadmi Party’s letter had questioned whether this should qualify as a violation of Model Code of Conduct, a set of guidelines to govern the behaviour of political parties to ensure free and fair elections. The poll code’s main focus is to ensure that the ruling party does not abuse its power for electoral gains.
In another communication, the poll panel sought state broadcaster Doordarshan’s response on why it ran a live telecast of Modi’s public address “Main bhi Chowkidar” on March 31.
The Model Code of Conduct came into operation on March 10, the day the poll body announced dates for the 2019 General Elections. The polls will be held in seven phases from April 11 to May 19, and the results declared on May 23.