"PM Narendra Modi", a biopic on the Prime Minister starring Vivek Oberoi, which was scheduled hit the screens today but was postponed amid a raging row, is yet to be "certified" and is going through the process of "examination", the chief of the censor board said. The opposition parties have questioned the timing of the film, alleging that it was a violation of the poll code.
"Since there are a lot of queries around the certification of the film, (I) would like to give a clear picture: the film is going through the due process of examination and certification according to the requisite guidelines and is yet to be certified as the process is not complete at this point," censor board chief Prasoon Joshi said in a statement.
On Thursday, the producer of the film said its release has been pushed indefinitely. "This is to confirm that our film 'PM Narendra Modi' is not releasing on 5th April. Will update soon," read a tweet by Sandip Ssingh soon after the Supreme Court fixed April 8 as the date for further hearing a Congress leader's petition against the movie launch at this crucial time.
Earlier, the Madhya Pradesh and Bombay high courts had both refused to stay the movie's release.
Vivek Oberoi, who plays the title role in "PM Narendra Modi", took pot-shot at the Congress recently and its leaders were scared of the chowkidar's danda (watchman's baton). The 42-year-old actor denied that the film's release violates the code of conduct for the election that begins next week, by glorifying PM Modi.
"It is a bogus film of a flop hero, a flop producer and is made on a flop person who has proved to be a zero," Mr Surjewala was quoted by news agency PTI as saying in response to Vivek Oberoi's jab.
The Congress had also filed a complaint against the film with the Election Commission, alleging its release close to the national election violates the model code of conduct. Last week, Vivek Oberoi appeared before the poll body in response to a notice it served.
Filmmaker Omung Kumar's PM Modi biopic has generated much interest. A two-and-half minute trailer had over a million views shortly after it emerged online. The film traces the PM's journey from his teens to the country's top job.
This is the second such political film to be released this year. In January, "The Accidental Prime Minister" themed on former prime minister Manmohan Singh's term gathered headlines more than box office success.