New Delhi: It is official. The Election Commission (EC) has pulled the plug on NaMo TV.
In a letter to the Chief Electoral Officer, Delhi, over the broadcast of NaMo TV, the EC has stated, “It has been confirmed by you that there has not been any pre-certification of the content being displayed on NaMo TV/Content TV, by the MCMC Committee in your office.”
It goes on to say, “Any political publicity content being displayed on electronic media without requisite certification from competent authority should be removed immediately and any political content shall only be permitted strictly in accordance with EC instructions in this regard.”
Directing the CEO to ensure implementation of its said instructions, the EC has also asked him to send a compliance report immediately.
Earlier, the Delhi CEO had said that the office had approved the logo of NaMo TV, which the BJP said is a part of NaMo app owned by it, but did not “certify” the content since it contained old speeches of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The EC had asked the CEO’s office to inform whether the political content was cleared by the certification committee. The BJP has said that NaMo TV is part of NaMo app, which is a digital property owned and run by it, according to the party’s IT Cell head Amit Malviya.
In its reply to the EC, the CEO office said they had received a request from the BJP to pre-certify the content. “The Delhi poll body approved the logo of NaMo TV but the content that was submitted for certification had old speeches of the prime minister and it was felt that since they have already been aired, they did not require pre-certification,” an official, privy to the development, said.
Last week, the poll panel had issued a notice seeking a report from the I&B Ministry on NaMo TV, launched just weeks ahead of general election, after Opposition parties, including the Congress, asked the poll body to direct the ministry to suspend the channel in violation of the Model Code of Conduct.
In its response, the ministry reportedly said that NaMo TV was an advertisement platform launched by DTH service providers which did not require government nod.
The EC has acted swiftly in banning the release of a biopic on Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well. While the Supreme Court was moved against the release of the film, the apex court said it was up to the EC to decide.