Lakshmi's NTR: Three theatres in Andhra Pradesh seized for screening biopic despite EC's order
Three theatres in Andhra Pradesh were seized for running Ram Gopal Varma'sLakshmi's NTR, a biopic based on the life of former Andhra Pradesh chief minister N T Rama Rao. The Election Commission (EC) had on 10 April ordered the producers of Lakshmi's NTR and Udyama Simham (based on Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao) not to release the movies till further orders.
According Indo-Asian News Service, the theatres screened the film on 1 May. Local revenue officials let off the theatre owners with a warning after this came to their knowledge. Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Gopal Krishna Dwivedi took a serious note of this and told the media on 3 May that he has recommended the EC to take action against the Kadapa district Joint Collector, who did not put a stop on the screening.
After the CEO's statement, the Joint Collector Koteswar Rao issued an order to seize the cinema halls.
The EC had previously said that any biopic material in the nature of biography/hagiography sub-serving the purpose of any political entity or an individual entity connected to it, which is intended to, or which has the potential to disturb the level playing field during the elections should not be displayed in electronic media including cinematography during the operation of Model Code of Conduct (MCC).
Following a ban imposed by the Andhra Pradesh High Court, the movie could not be released in the state early this month, though it hit the screens in all other places.
"It has been brought to the notice of the Commission that the said movie is publicised as a biopic of late N T Rama Rao, which purported to depict N Chandrababu Naidu, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh and a leader of a recognised political party, in a manner allegedly diminishing the electoral prospect of his party. You are hereby directed not to exhibit the film till further orders," the EC had said in its 10 April order.
As the general elections in the state were completed on 11 April, Varma wrote to the CEO on 25 April, requesting exhibition of Lakshmi's NTR in Andhra Pradesh. The CEO, however, rejected Varma's plea and maintained that the film should not be released till further orders.
(With inputs from Press Trust of India)
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Updated Date: May 04, 2019 14:54:00 IST