The Election Commission is learnt to have directed the Chief Electoral Officer of Delhi on Tuesday to ensure that the contents of NaMo TV are pre-certified by the local media certification and monitoring committee. Such committees are formed at district and state levels during polls. They clear political campaign and advertisements. Last week, the Commission had issued a notice seeking a report from the I&B Ministry on NaMo TV, launched just weeks ahead of general election, after opposition parties, including the Congress, asked the poll body to direct the ministry to suspend the channel in violation of the Model Code of Conduct.
The EC has also asked the CEO to inform whether the political contents were at anytime cleared by the certification committee. In its response, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry is learnt to have responded that the NaMo TV is an advertisement platform launched by DTH service providers which does not require government nod.
The ministry is also learnt to have said that NaMo TV is not a regular channel and it does not figure in the official list of approved channels of the I&B Ministry.
As per the existing norms, no approval is required from the ministry to run such advertising platforms, the I&B ministry is learnt to have told the poll panel.
Some people are claiming that the channel is owned by the ruling BJP. However, its ownership is still unclear. Last week, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had written to the poll panel complaining against the Namo TV, asking the poll panel if political parties having TV channels was in adherence to the Model Code of Conduct.
The Arvind Kejriwal-led party asked the EC if the BJP had sought approval for the launch of the channel, which has Prime Minister Narendra Modi's photograph on its logo and runs all his speeches.
"Can permission be granted to a party to have its own TV channel even after the Model Code of Conduct is enforced? If no permission was given by the ECI, then what action has been taken," the AAP said in its letter to the Election Commission.