The Election Commission of India (EC) has stepped in to take down the trailer of Baghini: Bengal Tigress, a film seen as a biopic of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, from three different websites.
Deputy Election Commissioner Sudeep Jain told reporters on Tuesday that the Commission has “initiated steps” to ensure that the trailer is not available online.
As for its release on May 3, Jain said the producers have not got certification from the Central Board of Film Certification.
The film’s director, Nehal Dutta, denies that it is a biopic of Banerjee, and had last week told The Indian Express in Kolkata that it is “inspired by her journey”.
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As per the EC’s overarching order of April 10, political content such as biopics pose a threat to the level-playing field during elections, and hence their release should not be permitted as long as the model code of conduct is in force. The poll panel had subsequently deferred the release of ‘PM Narendra Modi’, the biopic starring Vivek Oberoi, until after the Lok Sabha elections.
By virtue of the order, Jain said, EC cannot permit trailers or any other publicity material related to the biopic.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to first-time voters in Latur, Maharashtra, on April 9 to dedicate their vote to “Pulwama martyrs”, and his reference to “Hindu anger” against the Congress in his speech on April 1 in Wardha continues to remain under EC’s examination.
Asked about the delay of over two weeks in disposing of the two complaints, Deputy Election Commissioner Chandra Bhushan Kumar told the media that the complete transcript of Modi’s Wardha and Latur speeches were received from the Maharashtra CEO only on April 14 and 16, respectively.
“All speeches are different and have to examined in their respective context and from all aspects,” he said in response to why the poll panel is yet to take a decision on the two complaints a week after the transcripts were received.
The Commission is also examining BJP president Amit Shah’s remark in West Bengal on Monday, calling the Indian Air Force as Modi’s air force.