ECI stops web series on Indian PM Modi | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 21, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:39 AM, April 21, 2019

ECI stops web series on Indian PM Modi

India’s poll watchdog yesterday ordered producers to stop streaming a web series on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, weeks after it banned a Bollywood film and clamped down on a TV channel devoted to the right-wing premier. 

The Election Commission of India -- an autonomous body tasked with overseeing the world’s biggest democratic exercise -- said the online web series was in violation of its rules.

Under Indian election regulations, the publication of any content which is deemed as campaign material or propaganda is not allowed during the voting period.

Any political advertising must also be approved by the election authorities so that all spending is accounted for.

India’s mammoth six-week vote began on April 11 and will run until May 19, with results due on May 23.

When it ordered a halt to the streaming of the online series, the commission said any biopic material which has the “potential to disturb the level playing field” should not be displayed until after the polls have closed.

The series, titled “Modi: Journey of a Common Man” is produced by Eros Now and traces Modi’s journey from childhood to becoming the prime minister of the world’s largest democracy.

Earlier this month, the commission banned the release of a flattering movie about Modi until after voting finishes. Days later it ordered a clampdown on NaMo TV, a channel showing 24-hour programmes on Modi rallies, speeches, and even rap songs and dance routines devoted to the leader.

The Hindu nationalist Modi, 68, is seeking a tough re-election after storming to power in 2014. He often uses his humble upbringing as a tea-seller’s son to strike a chord with millions of poor voters.

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