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Bollywood biopic on Indian PM runs into trouble days before elections

Opposition parties claim the film’s release would unfairly advantage Narendra Modi’s party as it seeks re-election.

Narendra Modi (Altaf Qadri/AP)
Narendra Modi (Altaf Qadri/AP)

The planned release of a Bollywood biopic on Indian prime minister Narendra Modi days before the start of elections has run into trouble, with a court challenge pending and the censor board yet to clear its opening in cinemas.

Opposition parties are protesting that the film’s release would unfairly advantage Mr Modi’s Hindu nationalist party as it seeks re-election.

The Supreme Court set a Monday hearing date for a Congress party petition demanding the movie’s release be deferred until voting concludes in mid-May.

The Hindi movie could not be screened as planned on Friday because the censor board has not certified it for release.

“This is to confirm, our film ‘PM Narendra Modi’ is not releasing on 5th April. Will update soon,” film producer Sandip Ssingh tweeted.

Vivek Oberoi, who plays the title role, said the Congress party was trying to block the movie’s release because it was scared of Mr Modi’s popularity.

Oberoi, 42, said in an interview with New Delhi Television that screening the movie would not violate the code of conduct for national elections.

India’s autonomous Election Commission is expected to rule next week on separate complaints filed by two opposition parties protesting over the launch of a NaMo (Narendra Modi) television channel.

The Congress party and the Aam Admi Party said the channel was started by Mr Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party and it violates the code of conduct that bars political parties from starting such channels after the announcement of the election schedule.

The channel started broadcasting Mr Modi’s election campaign and a compilation of speeches highlighting his government’s achievements three weeks after the voting schedule was announced by the commission on March 10.

The voting for India’s elections will be staggered over seven days, beginning on April 11 and concluding on May 19. Counting will begin on May 23.



From Belfast Telegraph