The producers of the biopic on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday responded to an Election Commission notice on the film.
The film has been produced by Sandeep Singh, Manish Acharya, Anand K Pandit and Suresh Oberoi, who on Thursday denied links to the BJP and said that the film had been made with their “personal money”, the Indian Express reported.
“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,” said Hitesh Jain, a lawyer for the producers.
The producers said one could not call the film political propaganda just because actor Vivek Oberoi, who plays Modi in the biopic, may have political views that aligned with the BJP, Express reported.
The producers justified the involvement of Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and BJP president Amit Shah in promoting the film saying they wanted the film to be a “resounding commercial success”, and that a character in the film was based on Shah.
In their reply to the EC, the makers said a ban or delay on the film’s release would “adversely affect the democracy and rule of law” on several counts.
The film is slated for release on April 5, a week before the first phase of the general elections.
The makers said their film did not violate the Model Code of Conduct because it was “a biography in a visual medium”. Since biographies could be sold, a biopic should be allowed to release, they said, according to the Express report.
Vivek Oberoi, who plays the role of Modi, was at the Nirvachan Sadan, the EC headquarters, on Wednesday.
Since the film has reference to the BJP, the party was also marked a copy of the EC notice. But it is yet to respond.
On March 20, the East Delhi Returning Officer K Mahesh had issued suo motu notices to the production house and music company behind the film PM Narendra Modi and two leading newspapers for publishing advertisements of the film.
Opposition parties have alleged that the film violates the model code and would act like an advertisement for the BJP.
(With PTI inputs)