India’s election commission halts release of Bollywood biopic of PM Narendra Modi a day before polls

Twitter/Vivek Oberoi

  • An official notice it would amount to ‘surrogate publicity’ during the period of model code of conduct.

  • EC says such works can potentially affect the level playing field during the model code of conduct period.
India’s election commission has again halted the release of the high-budget Bollywood biopic featuring Indian PM Narendra Modi, saying it violates its code of conduct.

In an official notice, the EC said it had received complaints about the use of political content of certain cinematic works like ‘PM Narendra Modi’ and ‘Laxmi’s NTR.’ that seek to advance the electoral prospects of a candidate “in the garb of political freedom.”

The latter is based on the life of Telugu Desam Party founder and actor N T Rama Rao that was banned from release in Andhra Pradesh, the home state of TDP.


The release of such movies would amount to “surrogate publicity” during the period of model code of conduct for political parties. This code is put in place before general elections. India goes to polls on April 11.

Additionally, the notice said such works can potentially affect the level playing field and “free and fair elections,” which is against its model code of conduct.

The biopic, PM Narendra Modi, features actor Vivek Oberoi in lead role, and depicts him as a visionary, a patriot, painting his rags-to-fame story, according to its trailer.