New Delhi: The Election Commission (EC) has sought a response from the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry regarding the complaints by opposition parties against Namo TV, a new channel for covering Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s campaigns live.
According to a report in the Indian Express, the EC will take a call on the issue after examining the ministry’s response.
In a letter to the chief election commissioner, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had alleged that the launch of the channel is against the spirit of a “level playing field” for all political parties and asked the EC whether necessary permissions were taken before the channel went on air. AAP accused the BJP of “defying this very cardinal principle” by launching the 24-hour channel.
NaMo TV, which was launched just weeks before the general elections is already available on all the major national DTH operators, including Tata Sky, Dish TV, Airtel and Siti Network.
The Congress party approached the Election Commission, asking them to suspend the channel since it is not mentioned in the broadcasting ministry’s list of permitted private satellite channels. It is being broadcast either as a “government-sponsored channel” or without “any official clearance” from the I&B Ministry and “the contents are being broadcast in complete violation of the rules and regulations of cable televisions”.
The issue about whether the BJP can be granted permission to launch its own channel after the Model Code of Conduct is enforced was also raised by AAP.
While the BJP has not claimed that the channel is owned by the party, the party’s official handle has tweeted about it.