Oppn moves EC over NaMo TV set up to telecast PM’s speeches
The Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) approached the Election Commission on Monday to complain against a television channel named NaMo TV, which claims to provide “real-time coverage” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s election speeches and telecast other programmes on the central government’s achievements in the past five years.
Named after the first two letters of the Prime Minister’s name, the channel is available on all major direct-to-home (DTH) platforms and cable TV networks. PM Modi also has a mobile application named after him. In addition, there is a separate internet TV channel to webcast important party events.
A Congress delegation, led by senior leader Kapil Sibal, met the EC alleging misuse of television channels by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
“We have submitted three representations to the Election Commission. Two representations were made in connection with the misuse of Doordarshan and other TV channels by BJP to broadcast its speeches,” he told reporters.
Sibal said a particular channel has also come up with a logo of “NaMo TV for illegal telecasting of the BJP propaganda”. “Under the Representation of People Act (RPA) and the guidelines of EC, there cannot be any election campaigning in this fashion,” he said.
In a letter, the AAP asked the EC if political parties with TV channels adhered to model code of conduct. “Can permission be granted to a party to have its own TV channel even after the Model Code of Conduct is enforced? If no permission was given by the ECI, then what action has been taken?” the AAP said.
An EC spokesperson confirmed the commission received a complaint against NaMo TV and is investigating the same.
India votes between April 11 and May 19 to elect new members of the Lok Sabha, and Prime Minister Modi is the BJP’s campaign mascot. He will address 125-odd rallies by the time the campaign ends on May 17.
“We needed a dedicated TV channel,” a BJP leader said. “There are instances when private TV channels switched to other programmes during PM’s campaign speech. This channel is dedicated only to Modi.”
In a letter to party leader, BJP general secretary Arun Singh wrote, “...during these five years, there are numerous historical events, which people want to see time and again. All such events will be telecast by this channel.”
Singh said, BJP chief Amit Shah has asked party workers to popularise this channel at the booth level through various means so that maximum people are connected with the channel.
(WIth PTI inputs)