As national election fever heats up in India, numerous controversies related to election “engineering” are seeing the light of day. PM Modi’s biopic is arguably amongst the most prominent ones. The model code of conduct and opposition charges of influencing voters notwithstanding, the film was to be released just before the elections on 5 April.
New Delhi (Sputnik): Giving a new twist to the controversial biopic on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, titled “PM Narendra Modi”, the producer of the film has said that the release date of the movie has been postponed “till further notice”. The film was to be released on Friday across the country. The trailer of the movie was already released earlier in March and recorded over 23 million views.
Earlier, the Indian Supreme Court had refused to accord an urgent hearing of the plea that sought a stay on the release of the biopic.
Sources told Sputnik that Modi’s biopic is still to get certification from the Central Board of Film Certification.
Opposition parties had appealed to the Election Commission of India to delay the release of the film until the general election is over, as it was likely to influence voters.
“We have appealed to the ECI to ensure delay in the release of the film ‘PM Narendra Modi’ which will influence the voters in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. In fact, it’s a violation of Model Code of Conduct”, Congress Spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told Sputnik.
Left parties also appealed to the Election Commission of India to defer the release of Modi’s biopic, terming it a propaganda material of the Modi government.
Speaking to Sputnik, D. Raja, national secretary of the CPI said, “The film should not be released during the election period as it is a gross violation of Model Code of Conduct. In fact, the film is a tool of propaganda to influence voters ahead of the Lok Sabha election”.
However, the governing party, BJP, has defended the biopic, arguing that it has nothing do to with the upcoming elections. BJP has termed opposition demands as curtailing the right to freedom of speech and expression enshrined in the Indian Constitution.
Bollywood actor Vivek Oberoi, who played the role of Prime Minister Modi in the film, is optimistic about the movie.
“It’s a political stunt by the opposition parties. The scheduled release of the film on Friday has nothing to do with the upcoming general election”, Vivek Oberoi told Sputnik.
Meanwhile, Vivek Oberoi has been chosen as one of the star campaigners for the governing BJP in Gujarat.
Source: News Agencies