EC bars NaMo TV from carrying uncertified political content
New Delhi: The Election Commission (EC) on Thursday directed NaMo TV to not air any content that has not been pre-certified by the panel mandated to certify or authorise political ads.
In a letter to the Delhi Chief Electoral Officer, the Election Commission said any political publicity material on electronic media without certification should be removed immediately as the Model Code of Conduct is in place.
The EC’s order comes following a complaint by the Congress regarding the channel.
In its order, the EC said that it had been confirmed that there was no pre-certification of the content being displayed on NaMo TV by the Media Certification and Monitoring Committee (MCMC).
“As NaMo TV/Content TV is sponsored by a political party, all recorded programmes of political contents displayed on the channel/platform would be covered under the purview of the Commission’s Order…” the Election Commission’s letter reads.
“Any political publicity materials/contents, being displayed on electronic media without the requisite certification from the competent authority (MCMC in this case) should be removed immediately and any political content shall only be permitted strictly in accordance with the ECI instructions in this regard,” the letter adds.
NaMo TV, the 24-hour channel exclusively featuring Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speeches and pro-BJP content in the middle of the national election, had mysteriously shown up on satellite TV networks late last month, drawing protests from the opposition.
The government argued that the channel, which borrows the PM’s initials and his image for its logo, did not need a license.
But the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) complained to the Election Commission against the channel saying it violated the MCC.
The model code of conduct that came into effect on March 10 after the Election Commission announced seven-phase elections from April 11 to May 19. Counting of votes will take place on May 23.