New Delhi: NaMo TV has gone off air, said media reports on Monday. The channel had innocuously made its way on various service provider platforms before the general election process began in March this year. (Catch Complete Coverage of Lok Sabha Elections 2019 Here)
Funded by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the free-to-air channel led to an attack by the Opposition which called it a propaganda machine for airing PM’s rallies, interviews, features of government schemes and other BJP leaders’ interviews. Reports suggest it went off air a couple of days before the final phase on May 19.
The channel was available across the nation. When the Opposition brought it to the Election Commission’s notice, it sought a clarification from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The ministry responded that NaMo TV was an “advertisement-based platform” and that since wasn’t a registered channel, it didn’t need the Government nod to air.
Attacking the Election Commission after voting ended, Congress President Rahul Gandhi had tweeted “From Electoral Bonds & EVMs to manipulating the election schedule, NaMo TV, “Modi’s Army” & now the drama in Kedarnath; the Election Commission’s capitulation before Mr Modi & his gang is obvious to all Indians. The EC used to be feared & respected. Not anymore.”
Reports have linked the disappearance of NaMo TV with the completion of the voting process. They said now that the poll process was over, running the channel might not be feasible for the saffron party.