While the Election Commissionbanned the release of a biopic on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a web series on him streamed on Eros Now without proper certification, Delhi's Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) told the top polling body.
The web series didn't get a go-ahead from the Media Certification and Monitoring Committee (MCMC), the letter sent to EC claimed.
Here are the details.
Backstory: EC put a hold on biopic's release till polls
A few days ago, PM Narendra Modi, starringVivek Oberoi as PM Modi, led to a political uproar. The Supreme Court refused to ban its release, arguing that CBFC hadn't certified it.
Subsequently, EC said that any material which could disrupt the "level playing field" should not be aired on electronic media in the presence of MCC.
Naturally, this order extended to web series.
Unsurprisingly, Congress complained to EC about the web-series
After protesting against the movie, Congress moved EC to complain about the series, which went live earlier this month.
Congress said the 10-part series, titled Modi: Journey of a common man, was made with a motive to sway elections in favor of BJP.
But director Umesh Shukla said the timing was purely coincidental.
He claimed he had been making the series for 11-12 months and couldn't release it earlier due to 'technical glitches'.
Shukla claimed web-series isn't related to politics
"I always feel he (PM Modi) is a combination of Swami Vivekananda and Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel. The web series is my tribute to him. My web series is not about politics. It is more about a character and his journey," Shukla reportedly said.
We brought the web-series to EC's attention: Senior official
After the movie created an uproar, it seems Delhi CEO didn't want to draw criticism for laxity.
Hence, a letter was sent to EC Principal Secretary Narendra Butolia.
About this, a senior official said, "We have brought to the notice of the ECI that a series on PM Narendra Modi is being screened on the Eros Now platform without MCMC certification from us."
Separately, District Election Officer wrote letter to Delhi CEO
Further, the official explained that EC was apprised about the series as the matter was not Delhi-specific.
Interestingly, District Election Officer (DEO) (East), K Mahesh, also wrote to Delhi CEO, asking about the series, on the same day when the latter sent a letter to EC.
DEO (East) suggested that if the series doesn't have certification, an FIR should be lodged against Eros Now.
DEO reminded that MCC has been in place for weeks
Reportedly, Mahesh had received a complaint about the series on April 11 through the National Grievance Redressal System portal.
In the letter, Mahesh pointed out that PM Modi is a prospective candidate in the general elections.
"The above-mentioned biopic cannot be exhibited during the period of Model Code of Conduct presently enforced from March 10 at 5 PM onwards," he added.