Maharashtra: Get political content vetted first; EC official on TV serials

The content telecast was a clear violation of the model election code, an official said

Political News, Nation, (Mumbai), April 16:-Election officials in Maharashtra have asked production houses of two Hindi TV serials accused of espousing the BJP-led government’s schemes to get ‘politically influential’ content vetted with them before it is telecast.

The content telecast was a clear violation of the model election code, an official said.

Maharashtra’s additional chief electoral officer Dilip Shinde, in an order issued on Monday said, “The production houses should get politically influential content checked from election officials before using it in their serials.”

The Congress had taken objection to characters in the two TV serials praising government schemes like Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, Swacch Bharat Abhiyan and Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana. The two production houses had subsequently replied to the notice.

“Going by the content aired, it is evident that it is a violation of model code of conduct, he said. “We have asked the production houses to remove the content from the serials immediately,” he added.

Shinde said the explanation from producers of the two serials affirms the poll officials’ opinion that the content aired intends to influence “one political party”.

Election officials in Maharashtra directed producers of television serials Bhabhiji Ghar Par Hai and Tujhse Hai Raabta to remove content that was deemed to benefit prospects of a political party.

Last week, office of chief Electoral Officer (CEO) had served notices to Binaifer Kohli and Sanjay Kohlis Edit II Productions (Bhabhiji Ghar Par Hai) and Sonali Potnis and Aamir Jaffers Full Media House (Tujhse Hai Raabta) after it received a complaint from the Congress, accusing the two shows of espousing the benefits of schemes run by Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government.

The producers had denied the allegations of promoting government schemes to propagate a political party, claiming they had no such intention. They also claimed that government schemes shown were general in nature,” the official said.

The producers have also been asked to not to show any such content which may disturb the level playing field of any political party, the official said.

-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)

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