The Election Commission of India (ECI) has sought response from the I&B Ministry over the recently- launched 'NaMo TV' (earlier called Content TV) after complaint was filed by the Aam Aadmi Party and the Congress. NaMo TV that has the image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the logo, airs his election speeches every day, and propagates various policy initiatives taken by him. The channel is being hosted by all major DTH platforms.
Meanwhile, replying to the Election Commission, I&B Ministry said that BJP is incurring the cost of the advertisements and that it is not a licensed channel. India has roughly 350 unlicensed channels that come alive during elections.
Earlier on Tuesday, both Congress and AAP had filed a complaint against NaMo TV, which was launched on March 31, asking how the channel was launched after the model code of conduct came into force. Election Commission had also written to Doordarshan asking how it ran a live broadcast of PM Modi's public address 'Main bhi chowkidaar' on March 31.
In a letter to the EC, AAP said the channel went against the principle of creating a level playing field for all parties.
"But defying this cardinal principle Bharatiya Janata Party has launched a 24-hr channel NaMo TV", the letter from AAP's legal cell said to the Chief Election Commissioner.
"Who will monitor the contents of the telecast. Did BJP approach the Media Certification Committee established to certify the contents of the telecast and the cost?" the letter asked questioning why a show cause notice was not put out in the matter.
"If no permission sought by EC then what action has been taken in this regard?" it asked.
Congress too wrote to the EC stating that the channels was dedicated "solely to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP for promoting and advertising the achievements of the government, personal achievements of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, political rallies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and broadcasting interviews of prominent BJP leaders."
This is not the first time the BJP has launched a news channel. In 2007, during state assembly election in Gujarat, the Modi led BJP had launched a channel called, Vande Gujarat. Again, in 2012, the state BJP unit had collaborated with five Gujarati channels to broadcast NaMo TV.
However, NaMo TV isn't the only one. Tiranga TV, backed by Congress leader Kapil Sibal, was also launched in January this year.
(Edited by: Udit Verma)
Also read: Is Namo TV really a licensed TV channel?