Days after the Election Commission deferred the release of a biopic on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Delhi Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) has written to the poll panel saying that a web series on Modi available on the Eros Now website was streaming without certification from the Media Certification and Monitoring Committee (MCMC).
The letter, signed by Election Officer (Media, MCMC, Paid News & Training) to EC Principal Secretary Narendra Butolia, was written on Saturday, sources told The Indian Express. On the same day, the District Election Officer (DEO) (East) also wrote to the Delhi CEO asking whether the biopic web series had MCMC certification and suggested that in the absence of certification, an FIR be lodged against Eros Now.
In deferring the release of the film PM Narendra Modi, the EC, in its order dated April 10, had said, “Any biopic material in the nature of biography/hagiography sub-serving the purposes of any political entity or any individual entity connected to it, which is intended to, or which has the potential to disturb the level playing field during the elections, should not be displayed in electronic media…during the operation of MCC”. The Indian Express had reported that the EC’s “umbrella order” will also apply to the 10-part web series Modi: Journey of a Common Man, which is currently being streamed on Eros Now platforms. The series was directed Umesh Shukla of OMG: Oh My God fame.
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“We have brought to the notice of the ECI that a series on PM Narendra Modi is being screened on the Eros Now platform without MCMC certification from us. We have told them that this it is not Delhi specific and is a pan-Indian content, so they may take cognizance of the matter,” said a senior official at the Delhi CEO’s office. Meanwhile, DEO East K Mahesh wrote to Delhi CEO Ranbir Singh saying the MCMC of the East Delhi Constituency had received a complaint on April 11 through the National Grievance Redressal System portal that “Eros Now is streaming a biopic series on Modi…despite the directions of ECI banning all such biopic”.
Singh did not respond to calls and texts by The Indian Express.
Mahesh’s letter stated: “The above-mentioned biopic series appears to be a biopic on Shri Narendra Modi, Prime Minister and a political leader as well as a prospective candidate in the current general elections to the 17th Lok Sabha which cannot be exhibited during the period of Model Code of Conduct presently enforced from March 10 at 5 PM onwards.”