Indian poll panel bans biopic on Modi during election period

Hours before the first phase of general elections and the release of ‘PM Narendra Modi’, the Election Commission of India on Wednesday banned the screening of the biopic saying it “disturbs the level-playing field.”

Films that promote any political party or individual should not be displayed in the electronic media during the phased elections from April 11 to May 19, the commission said.

Any complaints on this matter will be examined by a panel headed by a retired judge of the Supreme Court or High Court, the panel added.

The commission’s order comes a day after the Supreme Court dismissed a petition filed by a Congress activist seeking stay on the release of the biopic designed to “manipulate, influence and impress viewers and voters.”

The top court said the Election Commission would be the appropriate body to decide whether the film promotes an individual or party.

The film, originally set to be released on April 5, was deferred to April 11.

Actor Vivek Oberoi plays Modi in the film.

When Congress members objected to the timing of the film’s release last week, Oberoi asked them if they are scared of the film or of ‘chowkidar’s danda’ (watchman Modi’s baton).