The Election Commission has stalled the release of Vivek Oberoi’s biopic on Prime Minister Modi claiming it could endanger the ‘level playing field’ and thereby threaten the “conduct of free and fair elections”. Apart from the PM Narendra Modi, ‘NTR Laxmi’ and ‘Udyama Simham’ has also been mentioned in the order.
In its order, the EC stated, “Such ‘political contents’ poses a serious threat to the level playing field as it may create an impression of the truthfulness of such content being shown through Television/Cinema/Internet-based entertainment programs/Social Media. And therefore, it is in the larger interest of ensuring the level playing field and conduct of free and fair elections that such political content ought to be regulated during the election period to prevent violation of Model Code of Conduct.”
The order, in a rather twisted manner, states that such content may not be in violation of any law and is probably outside the purview of MCMC certification requirement. However, regulation is recommended as it could violate the principle of ‘free and fair elections’.
Yesterday, the Supreme Court had given a go-ahead to the biopic’s release after it dismissed the petition filed seeking a stay on it. The film was initially scheduled to release on April 5 but due to roadblocks by opposition parties, the release got delayed to April 11, the same day first phase of Lok Sabha elections starts. However, with the EC’s latest order, the movie will not be released until polling ends.