EC Bars NaMo TV From Airing Political Content Without Approval

The Election Commission, on Thursday, 11 April, wrote to the Delhi Chief Electoral Officer asking for the political content on NaMo TV to be removed immediately, since it has not been pre-certified.

"As NaMo TV/Content TV is sponsored by a political party, all recorded programmes of political contents displayed on the channel/platform would be covered under the purview of the Commission's Order... " the Election Commission wrote.

The Election Commission of India’s letter to Delhi Chief Electoral Officer

The Election Commission had said on 10 April that their order banning the release of the biopic on Prime Minister Narendra Modi during poll season also applies to the broadcasting of NaMo TV, a 24x7 channel which focuses only on the speeches and rallies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other senior leaders of the BJP.

However, on Thursday, the Election Commission said that although NaMo TV is not banned, “all political advertisements and all recorded programmes with political contents are mandatorily required to be pre-certified by the MCMC before telecasting/displaying.”

"“Any political publicity materials/contents, being displayed on electronic media without the requisite certification from competent authotity (MCMC in this case) should be removed immediately and any political content shall only be permitted strictly in accordance with the ECI instructions in this regard.”" - The Election Commission’s LetterBackground

  • Delhi Chief Electoral office had approved the logo of NaMo TV, which the BJP said is part of NaMo app owned by it, but did not "certify" the content since it contained old speeches of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, officials said.
  • The Election Commission on Tuesday had asked the CEO's office to inform whether the political contents were at anytime 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 Information and Broadcasting Ministry is learnt to have responded that the NaMo TV is an advertisement platform launched by DTH service providers which does not require government nod.
  • The ministry is also learnt to have said that NaMo TV is not a regular channel and it does not figure in the official list of approved channels of the I&B Ministry.
  • As per the existing norms, no approval is required from the ministry to run such advertising platforms, the I&B ministry is learnt to have told the poll panel.

(With PTI inputs)

. Read more on Elections by The Quint.RSS & BJP’s Nehru-Netaji ‘Cosplay’: Irony Dies a Thousand DeathsDhoni Gives Cue but Anchor Doesn’t Ask Question on Umpire Outburst . Read more on Elections by The Quint.