India stops release of biopic on PM Modi ahead of polls

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party is seeking to retain power in elections starting April 11. (AFP)
Updated 10 April 2019

India stops release of biopic on PM Modi ahead of polls

  • The movie, ‘PM Narendra Modi,’ would give an unfair advantage to Modi’s Hindu nationalist party as it seeks re-election
  • Voting will conclude May 19, and vote counting will begin May 23

NEW DELHI: Indian election authorities have stopped the release of a Bollywood biopic on Prime Minister Narendra Modi with national elections scheduled to begin on Thursday.
The Election Commission accepted arguments from the Congress party and other opposition parties that the release of the film, “PM Narendra Modi,” would give an unfair advantage to Modi’s Hindu nationalist party as it seeks re-election.
Film producer Sandip Ssingh had scheduled the release of the movie in Indian theaters for Thursday.
The commission ruled Wednesday that any biopic material that has the potential to create an uneven playing field during the multi-phase election should not be displayed in electronic media.
Voting will conclude May 19, and vote counting will begin May 23.
The commission also is examining opposition complaints that the launch of a television channel named after the prime minister violated a law barring political parties from starting such channels after the announcement of the election schedule.
The Congress party and the Aam Admi Party said the channel, funded by Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party, started broadcasting Modi’s election campaign and a compilation of speeches three weeks after the voting schedule was announced by the commission on March 10.


Khalilzad upbeat on chances for intra-Afghan peace talks

Updated 01 June 2020

Khalilzad upbeat on chances for intra-Afghan peace talks

WASHINGTON: Recent prisoner releases and a relatively low level of violence may bode well for the start of peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban, US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad said on Monday.
“We are in a good place,” Khalilzad told reporters, saying the Afghan government had released 2,400 to 2,500 Taliban prisoners since Feb. 29 and the militant group has freed more than 400 detainees in return. “We’ll have challenges and difficulties but we are optimistic that finally we’re moving forward to the start of the intra-Afghan negotiations.”