Curtain falls for NaMo TV as India waits for 2019 Election result
New Delhi: BJP-sponsored NaMo TV, named after Prime Minister Narendra Modi, went off the air as campaigning for the Lok Sabha elections drew to a close on May 17. The channel, bundled with controversy, garnered a lot of attention in its short span of airing.
NaMo TV with the image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the logo aired on major DTH platforms by March 30. The channel focused on showcasing the achievements of the BJP Government over the last five years.
Oppositions parties such as the Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had raised complaints against the channel. They questioned the ECI whether NaMo TV had permission from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to release the channel or not. Further, they also wanted clarification on, whether the parties were allowed to launch such channels after the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) was applied.
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in reply said that the channel has been called a “platform service” of the DTH operators and hence did not require uplinking/downlinking permissions from the government.
The Election Commission later ruled that the channel would have to comply with the 48-hour ‘election silence’ ahead of every phase of voting and that all expenditure incurred on programmes and advertisements on NaMo TV should be identified appropriately.
At first, there was secrecy regarding the ownership of the channel but later the ruling party clarified that NaMo TV was run by its IT cell.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi also spoke on this matter and posted a tweet making an attack towards the Election Commission and calling it biased. His tweet read “From Electoral Bonds & EVMs to manipulating the election schedule, NaMo TV, Modi’s Army & now the drama in Kedarnath; the Election Commission’s capitulation before Mr. Modi & his gang is obvious to all Indians. The EC used to be feared & respected. Not anymore.”
An Anonymous BJP leader told the news agency PTI that, “NaMo TV was meant as a tool of BJP campaign for the Lok Sabha election. With the polls over, it is no longer needed, so effectively from May 17, when all campaign has to be paused, it has also gone off air”.
While the whole of India awaits the 2019 Elections results, controversy does not seem to die for NaMo TV.