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Narendra Modi biopic row: Full page ad results in EC notice to T-Series, Dainik Bhaskar over alleged Model Code of Conduct violation

A district election officer of the East Delhi Parliamentary constituency has served a show cause notice to Anand Pandey of Dainik Bhaskar, Sachin Chauhan of T-Series and Legend Global Studio, which is owned by Sandip Ssingh, who is one of the producers of Narendra Modi's biopic for alleged Model Code of Conduct violations. A letter signed by K Mahesh, the District Returning Officer at the East Delhi Lok Sabha seat, states that a full page advertisement of the film PM Narendra Modi was in violation of the Model Code of Conduct.

The letter stated that the film's full-page ad carried in the Hindi language daily Dainik Bhaskar appears to be a 'surrogate advertisement' which may have "political overtures" contrary to the tenets of Model Code of Conduct.

Quoting the provisions of the code issued by the Election Commission of India, the letter claimed that surrogate advertisement for or against any candidate must be authorised by the candidate whom the ad favours. The expenses of printing such an ad should also be added to the cost of campaign of the candidate.

The letter demanded that the makers and distributors of the film, along with the newspaper that carried the ad, submit documents showing the Media Certification and Monitoring Committee, set up by the Election Commission, cleared the ad before Monday. Otherwise, the poll body will initiate action under the appropriate laws.

The Vivek Oberoi-starrer biographical drama has been in the midst of controversy since it was announced. Opposition leaders have urged the poll body to intervene and delay the film's release, which is currently slated to hit theatres days before the first phase of polling. The film will open on 5 April, preponed from an earlier date of 12 April.

"We are bringing this film a week early on public demand. There is a lot of love and anticipation among the people and we don't want them to wait longer. This is a story of 1.3 billion people and I can't wait to show it to them," film's producer Sandip Ssingh said in a statement.

Directed by Omung Kumar, the biopic will traverse the journey of Modi from his beginnings to his years as chief minister onto his landmark win at the 2014 general election and being nominated as prime minister.

Boman Irani, Manoj Joshi, Prashant Narayanan, Zarina Wahab, Barkha Sengupta, Anjan Shrivastav, Yatin Karyekar, Ramakant Dayma, Akshat R Saluja, Jimesh Patel and Darshan Kumaar are part of the cast.

Veteran actor Suresh Oberoi, Vivek's father, and Anand Pandit are co-producing the film along with Singh. The film will also release in Tamil and Telugu.

Your guide to the latest election news, analysis, commentary, live updates and schedule for Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on firstpost.com/elections. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram or like our Facebook page for updates from all 543 constituencies for the upcoming general elections.

Updated Date: Mar 22, 2019 20:09:58 IST

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