Following an application by the BJP, the Election Commission last week cleared airing of a show featuring Pragya Thakur on NaMo TV. By the time the clearance reached the BJP though, NaMo TV had gone off air due to the start of the 48-hour election silence period before Sunday’s polling.
The BJP had applied to the Delhi Chief Electoral Office (CEO) for certification to air the Aap ki Adalat show with Thakur, first shown by India TV in 2018, soon after it named the terror accused as the party candidate from Bhopal on April 17. In the show, she talks of campaigning for the BJP in 2019, and praises Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In April end, the CEO’s office approached the EC for clarification.
On May 14, the EC wrote back to the CEO saying the contents of the programme did not fall under the ambit of “political content” and therefore did not require pre-certification, sources told The Sunday Express. The Delhi CEO said it forwarded the communication to the BJP on May 17. Bhopal voted on May 12.
On April 16, the EC directed that all political advertisements and recorded programmes with political content aired on NaMo TV would need pre-certification.
Apart from extending support to the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections, Thakur spoke of her alleged torture in jail and her views on Hindu Rashtra in the show.
Asked if she would support Modi, Thakur says, “Modiji rashtrabhakt hain, support karne mein mujhe koi dikkat nahin (Modi is a nationalist, I have no problem supporting him).” She lauds him for bringing “laurels to the country internationally”.
Rahul Gandhi, she adds, is a “child” and “not suitable to lead the country”.