Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has acknowledged that NaMo TV is run by its own IT Cell. "NaMo TV is a feature of NaMo app which is run by BJP IT cell," BJP IT Cell head Amit Malviya told The Indian Express. "The party has taken slots on Direct To Home for which provisions are there to show it [NaMo TV]."
The response from the BJP IT Cell head makes it clear that the ruling party had taken advantage of the grey area in the regulation to launch a channel. The content of NaMo TV was made available to the platforms not through satellite but through fibre. Back in 2015, TRAI had asked the I&B Ministry to approve the content of the value-added services as it interfered the content offered by the licensed broadcasters.
Earlier, in response to the Election Commission (EC), the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) had said that NaMo TV is an advertisement platform launched by DTH service providers, which does not require government approval. BJP had also tweeted about the channel's launch from its official Twitter handle.
The I&B Ministry had then said that NaMo TV is reportedly owned by Parag Shah, an IT professional and senior political analyst who worked under Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat.
Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Electoral Office's Media Certification and Monitoring Committee's (MCMC's) has said that the content aired on NaMo TV which included speeches of PM Narendra Modi and his policy initiatives, do not qualify as advertisement. According to MCMC's official, the body had only certified the NaMo TV logo and not the content.
In a short time after its launch, Namo TV had achieved a reach of 37 per cent, which is slightly lower than that of NDTV India's 43 per cent, said the media analytics company Chrome DM.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Election Commission stayed the release of biopic PM Narendra Modi until the end of polling. The biopic was to be released today i.e. April 11.
Edited By: Udit Verma