The makers of the upcoming biopic on prime minister Narendra Modi, PM Narendra Modi, have denied any connection with the ruling BJP party in their reply to the Election Comission. The advocate for the film’s producers — Anand Pandit, Sandip Ssingh, Manish Acharya, and Suresh Oberoi — stated that the makers had no connection with any political party, and had put in ‘their personal money’ into the film.
The Election Comission had sent a notice to the film’s makers on account of the film’s infringement of the model code of conduct (MCC) in place during the general elections set to take place from 11 April onwards. The film is scheduled to release in theatres on 5 April. The Election comission received complaints from the opposition DMK and the Congress parties, post which they sent a notice to the makers to explain their stand
Speaking on behalf of the makers, Hitesh Jain, the partner at Parinam Law Associates, said, “The allegations made linking our client’s movie with a political party merely on a few public events, Facebook posts and tweets are not only false but have no basis in either fact and/or law.”
Incidentally, Jain is among the founding members of Bluekraft Digital Foundation, which is the ‘technology and knowledge partners’ of Exam Warriors, the book written by the prime minister Modi for students.
The Indian Express quoted Jain stating that he is an ‘independent lawyer’ and that the company has nothing to do with the case.
In their reply to the Election Comission, Jain stated, “The said film has been made as a commercial venture by our clients and other producers who are from the film industry. If a producer who is producing a movie relating to a political figure and/or political party is presumed (to be) having a political nexus, then every movie made in India involving political leaders (past and present) will be identified as a propaganda movie.”
The reply also stated that the delay or ban in release of the film will ‘adversely affect democracy and the rule of law’, and that freedom of expression ‘cannot be held ransom’ by anyone.
According to reports, the makers also defended that the film is not a propaganda since it is a biography in visual format. Since biographical novels are allowed to be sold, the makers maintained that the film should not be violative of the model code of conduct either.
Defending the invitation to BJP president Amit Shah and Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis for the launch, saying they ‘wanted the film to be a huge commercial success.’
The film is scheduled for a release on 5 April, after it was preponed from its initial 12 April date.