Indian Electoral Commission bans Narendra Modi biopic until after elections

The Electoral Commission banned the release of political biopics during voting

epa07493435 (FILE) - Indian film producer Suresh Oberoi attending a poster launch for the film 'PM Narendra Modi', a biopic on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in Mumbai, India, 07 January 2019 (reissued 09 April 2019). According to media reports, the Supreme Court on 09 April 2019 dismissed a petition seeking a delay in the release of the Bollywood biopic of the Indian prime minister. The film is scheduled for release on 11 April 2019, coinciding with the national elections.  EPA/DIVYAKANT SOLANKI
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India's electoral commission has banned a biopic of its Prime Minister Narendra Modi until after the country's parliamentary elections, officials said on Wednesday.

The film, titled PM Narendra Modi, has been criticised for grossly extolling the virtues of the Bharatiya Janata Party leader.

"The Election Commission of India today issued an order prohibiting display in electronic media including cinematography of any biopic or publicity material in the nature of biography/hagiography sub-serving the purposes of any political entity or any individual entity connected to it," the Indian Election Commission said.

The film was scheduled for release on Thursday to coincide with the first day of voting in the seven-stage process.

The commission received complaints about three films, of which Mr Modi's biopic is one. They say political films pose "a serious threat to the level playing field" as they could be taken as the truth.

The BJP has sought to create a cult of personality around the leader, who has been in power since 2014, creating mugs, an app and building an affectionate brand around NaMo.

The official trailer for the film shows Mr Modi, played by Bollywood star Vivek Oberoi, as a patriotic saviour who has overcome adversity to lead the country.

The trailer says it is "based on a true story" and finishes with the title card, "PM Narendra Modi: Story of a billion people".