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EC seeks response from I&B ministry over 'NAMO TV' launch, as AAP and Congress files complaint

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 3 April 2019, 11:47 IST

The Election Commission of India has written to the Information and Broadcasting ministry seeking its response on the sudden launch of the 'NAMO TV', days before Lok Sabha Elections. The development comes after Aam Aadmi Party and Congress filed a complaint against the launch of NAMO TV ahead of national polls calling it ‘violation of poll code.’

NaMo TV, a 24-hour TV channel broadcasting Prime Minister Narendra Modi's election campaigns, was launched on March 31. The TV channel features PM Modi and his speeches besides strong BJP-centric content.

The Election Commission has also separately written to Public broadcaster Doordarshan seeking its answer over how it ran an hour-long live broadcast of PM Modi’s public address Main Bhi chowkidaar’ on March 31, Economic Times reported.

After NAMO TV was launched, the BJP handles have been tweeting asking viewers to tune in to ‘NaMo TV’ and NaMo app for the PM’s rallies and speeches.

Notably, the channel was launched after the Model code of conduct came into effect by the ruling BJP. However, its ownership is still unclear. According to Economic Times, ET has learnt that the EC has written to the I&B secretary on the matter.

The NAMO TV apart from live rallies of PM Modi, it also broadcast compilations of his speeches ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. The Opposition has raised the matter with the EC asking why was NAMO TV was launched after the model code of conduct came into force.

"But defying this cardinal principle Bharatiya Janata Party has launched a 24-hr channel NaMo TV," the letter addressed to the Chief Election Commissioner from AAP's legal cell said.

"Who will monitor the contents of the telecast. Did BJP approach the Media Certification Committee established to certify the contents of the telecast and the cost?" the letter asked wondering why showcase notice was not issued in the matter. "If no permission sought by EC then what action has been taken in this regard?" it asked.

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First published: 3 April 2019, 11:27 IST