MUMBAI: The release of "PM Narendra Modi", a biopic on the prime minister, has been pushed indefinitely, its producer Sandip Singh said on Thursday, a day before the film was scheduled to be screened in theatres across the country.
Sources in the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) said the film is yet to get a clearance. The film was originally set to release on April 12 but producers had advanced it by a week, claiming "public demand".
"This is to confirm, our film 'PM Narendra Modi' is not releasing on 5th April. Will update soon," Singh posted on Twitter on Thursday. Though he did not clarify further, censor board sources said the process of getting CBFC certification is still underway.
"The film has not been granted certification. It is still under process," a source from the censor board said.
The film, fronted by Vivek Oberoi and directed by "Mary Kom" maker Omung Kumar, was in the news with various political parties saying that releasing it less than a week before the general elections begin is a violation of the model code of conduct.
Omung Kumar, 'PM Narendra Modi' director: Suspense! The film isn't releasing tomorrow, not on 5 April. But it'll be done soon, you'll get to know. We don't want to tell you the date now. Opposition had come forward, tried things. It's late but we know what date to release it on. pic.twitter.com/pMHVCp0o8g
— ANI (@ANI) April 4, 2019
The Congress made a formal complaint to the Election Commission over the release of the film. Sources in the poll panel said on Wednesday that it is unlikely to prevent the release of the film and may leave it to the CBFC to take a call on the issue.
Opposition parties, including the Congress, said the film would give undue advantage to the BJP in electioneering and its release should be deferred till the elections are over. The project is also facing legal hurdles with a Congress leader filing a PIL in the Supreme Court, seeking a stay on its release.
The court will hear the plea on Monday. The biopic ran into trouble over credits as well. Lyricists Javed Akhtar and Sameer said they were credited without contributing to the project. The producer, however, countered their claims, saying their old songs were reworked so they gave credit where due.
The seven-phase Lok Sabha polls begin on April 11 and end on May 19. The model code of conduct, which among other things, calls for an even playing field for all parties and candidates, came into force on March 10 when the elections were announced.