On Tuesday, the Election Commission is learnt to have told the Delhi Chief Electoral Officer that the BJP-sponsored NaMo TV will have to comply with the 48-hour ‘election silence’ ahead of every phase of voting. With the two-day silence period for the second phase of voting on April 18 under way from Tuesday evening, a look at how the channel fared on Wednesday:
* Tamil Nadu: NaMo TV was available on Wednesday night on Tata Sky satellite TV service. One of the programmes aired live was Main Bhi Chowkidar, a TV show of PM Narendra Modi in which he answered questions from the audience amid slogans praising Modi.
* Assam: NaMo TV ran on multiple DTH service providers even in areas that go to the polls on Thursday.
* Maharashtra: Residents of Osmanabad and Akola reported NaMo TV playing pre-recorded programmes late Wednesday evening, but the channel was not available in Solapur. Solapur, Akola and Osmanabad will vote on Thursday.
* Karnataka: Hours before Bengaluru went to polls, NaMo TV played on the Tata Sky platform on Wednesday night. Live feed from BJP president Amit Shah’s rally in Cuttack, Odisha was being beamed around 9.30 pm, followed by a recorded Main Bhi Chowkidar show. A ticker at the bottom — “NaMo says” — showed lines from past speeches by Modi. All advertisements on the channel sought votes for Modi — for example, “Safe rahna hai toh first vote Modi ko do”.
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* Bihar: Airtel Dish TV reportedly telecast NaMo TV.
* West Bengal: Cable channels in West Bengal did not air NaMo TV in three Lok Sabha seats of West Bengal —Darjeeling, Raigunj and Jalpaiguri. DTH facilities could not be confirmed.