No bar on commercial screenings of Shivarajkumar’s films, says EC

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No bar on commercial screenings of Shivarajkumar’s films, says EC

Following a demand by the BJP‘s OBC Morcha seeking a ban on the display and screening of advertisements, movies and billboards featuring Kannada actor Shivarajkumar – whose wife Geeta Shivarajkumar is the Congress candidate in Shivamogga – the Election Commission (EC) has made it clear that there can be no bar on commercial screenings.

“We can only ban the screening of films featuring actors who are contesting polls or campaigning on Doordarshan, which is run by public funds. Commercial screenings on TV channels and cinema theatres cannot be stopped,” said Manoj Kumar Meena, Chief Electoral Officer for Karnataka.

Venkatesh Kumar R., Additional Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), said the Congress had lodged a similar complaint during the 2023 Karnataka Assembly elections against Kannada actor Sudeep, who was the BJP’s star campaigner. “We had made it clear then too that commercial screenings cannot be banned,” he said.

“The Election Commission of India (EC) had, in 2014, written to Prasar Bharati, Doordarshan, and Chief Electoral Officers of all States that telecast of films and commercial advertisements involving film actors who are contesting elections will not be restrained on TV channels or cinema theatres. However, telecast of such feature films (other than commercial advertisements) will not be allowed on Doordarshan during the period of the enforcement of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC), considering that Doordarshan is run on public funds,” he said.


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