21/05/2019 12:45 PM IST | Updated 21/05/2019 1:48 PM IST

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow: NaMo TV Is Not On Air Anymore

The TV channel had publicised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rallies and other poll messages during the elections.

You may not have noticed but NaMo TV, the television channel launched by the BJP just weeks before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, has quietly disappeared off our screens.

The channel, which publicised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rallies and other poll messages, went off air on 17 May when all campaigns for the election came to an end, party sources told PTI.

A BJP leader, requesting anonymity, said, “NaMo TV was meant as a tool of BJP campaign for the Lok Sabha election. With the polls over, it is no longer needed, so effectively from May 17, when all campaign has to be paused, it has also gone off air.”

DTH service provider Tata Sky had initially called NaMo TV a “Hindi news service which provides the latest breaking news on national politics.” It later said the channel was a “special service” and its content came from the BJP. 

In April, the party admitted the channel was run by its IT Cell, The Indian Express reported. “NaMo TV is a feature of NaMo app which is run by BJP IT cell. Party has taken slots on DTH for which provisions are there to show it,” head of BJP IT Cell Amit Malviya told the daily. 

The channel had been aired as a free service by providers like Tata Sky, Videocon and Dish TV.

The chief electoral officer of Delhi had sent a notice to the BJP for “airing election-related content” on NaMo TV even after the silence period began, but the party had said they did not violate the model code of conduct.

In April, after the Election Commission had directed that all recorded programmes displayed on NaMo TV be pre-certified, the Delhi poll body asked the BJP not to air any content on the platform without its certification.

The EC had issued a notice seeking a report from the Information and Broadcasting Ministry on NaMo TV, after opposition parties, including the Congress, asked the poll body to direct the ministry to suspend the channel in violation of the poll code.

According to NDTV, the ministry responded saying the the channel did not require approval since it was  only an “advertisement platform”.

The chief electoral officer in Delhi had also said since NaMo TV was sponsored by the BJP, all recorded programmes displayed on the platform be pre-certified by media certification and monitoring committee of Delhi and all political publicity contents displayed without pre-certification be removed immediately.

(With PTI inputs)