After the Election Commission issued a show-cause notice to the makers of PM Narendra Modi biopic, the film’s lead actor Vivek Oberoi, producer Sundip Ssingh, and their lawyer Hitesh Jain appeared before the EC’s poll panel on Thursday.
During the meeting, the filmmakers denied political propaganda and violation of model code of conduct ahead of elections, insisting that they have “put in their personal money” to produce the movie.
This comes following appeals for a stay on release made to the election commission by several political parties. DMK asked the EC to defer the release of the film, and Congress made a plea for a ban. Hitesh Jain reportedly told Indian Express, “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.”
He said, “The 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 have a political nexus, then every movie made in India involving political leaders will be identified as a propaganda movie.”
Speaking to IANS, producer Ssingh reportedly also denied that the film had any political agenda, “Everybody is talking without seeing the film and they should have a reason for that. Be it RPI, MNS, DMK, CPI or Congress, they all are raising objections only because of the release date.”
He further said that they had submitted documents to prove that the film was “not violative of the model code of conduct. A biopic is a biography in a visual medium,” he said, adding that if biographies are allowed to be sold, why shouldn’t a biopic be released.
The election commission is yet to announce its decision. The film is currently scheduled to hit screens on April 12, soon after the first phase of the Lok Sabha polls.
Directed by Omung Kumar, the film traces Modi’s life from his entry into politics till the 2014 general elections. Along with Vivek Oberoi, Zarina Wahab, Prashant Narayanan, Boman Irani, Barkha Bisht and Manoj Joshi play other roles.
Image Courtesy: India Today