Election Commission seeks details of Namo TV from I&B Ministry

  1. The Election Commission has issued a notice seeking a report from Information & Broadcasting on NaMo TV. The channel, NaMo TV was launched on 31st March, nearly two weeks after the Model Code of Conduct came into effect.  
  2. The channel carries the picture of Prime Minister Modi as its logo. It broadcasts election rallies, speeches of the Prime Minister and interviews of BJP leaders. The opposition parties have alleged that the channel violates the model code of conduct and has asked the EC to direct I&B ministry to suspend it.
  3. Opposition parties have also sought clarification from EC whether permission to own a party channel can be granted even after the Model Code of Conduct is enforced.
  4. The oppositions parties in their complaint report have mentioned that NaMo TV is not listed in I&B ministry’s ‘Permitted Private Satellite TV Channels’. Therefore, it is either being broadcast as a “government-sponsored channel” or lacks official clearance from the ministry.
  5. Issue of advertisement at the cost of public money in the newspapers and other media and the misuse of official mass media during the election period for partisan coverage of political news and publicity regarding achievements amounts to violation of MCC
  6. Model code of Conduct (MCC) are the guidelines issued by the Election Commission of India for conduct of political parties and candidates during elections.
  7. The MCC comes into force immediately on the announcement of the election schedule by the commission. The Code remains in force till the end of the electoral process. The MCC came into force on March 10, 2019 after the announcement of election schedule by the Election Commission.