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Censor Board chief refuses to quit over NaMo film

April 8, 2019

Prasoon Joshi, who is the chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has denied that he gave preferential treatment to the biopic on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He says such statements are irresponsible.

In a statement, Joshi, said that the role of the CBFC is to review content as per the rules and it has nothing to do with the timings of a film's release.

We had already stated that the film is yet to be certified and is in the process of certification as per the requisite guidelines. I am surprised by the irresponsible statements that are being made regarding CBFC. Facts should be checked before making such allegations. - Prasoon Joshi, Chairperson, Central Board of Film Certification

The producer of the film Sandip Ssingh has said that the film, which stars Vivek Oberoi will be released on 11 April, which is the day voting begins for the national elections.

Ssingh's announcement came even as the film awaited certification from the censor board. Joshi had said that the film is yet to be "certified" and is going through the process of "examination".

There are strong views that the Election Commission of India should not stop the film's release. Raj Thackeray of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) has demanded that Joshi be taken off the censor board as it went out if its way to give certification to the biopic.

"As per the rule, the producers have to submit the final copy of the film to the censor board 68 days prior to the date of the exhibition. So why was special treatment given to the biopic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi", said , chief of the MNS' film cell said in a statement. "We condemn the censor board which went out of its way for this film to appease the government. Prasoon Joshi should resign immediately from his post".

Joshi has countered this by saying that the period of 68 days is the maximum limit and most films are certified in a much shorter time.

The film has been caught up in a huge controversy over the timing of its release. Opposition parties say that the release close to national elections violates the model code of conduct.

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