Two days before the final phase of the Lok Sabha elections 2019, a BJP-backed television channel, NaMo TV, silently went off air.
The channel had garnered a lot of criticism with many accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of violating the Election Commission's Moral code of Conduct (MCC). Though the opposition parties objected to NaMo TV, the EC allowed the BJP to air the channel.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi tweeted on May 19 after he noticed the channel was no longer available on TV.
He had written on the microblogging site, "From Electoral Bonds & EVMs to manipulating the election schedule, NaMo TV, "Modi's Army" & now the drama in Kedarnath; the Election Commission's capitulation before Mr Modi & his gang is obvious to all Indians. The EC used to be feared & respected. Not anymore (sic)."
When asked why the channel was pulled off air at the end of the elections, a BJP leader told news agency PTI that the channel was a campaign tool and now that the campaign ended, the channel was no longer needed. "As NaMo TV was a campaign tool for the BJP, it was no longer needed after the Lok Sabha elections got over. So it was taken off air as soon as campaigning ended on May 17," said the BJP leader.
This was quite surprising since, the Election Commission directed the channel not to air any political content without the approval of the Media Certification and Monitoring Committee on April 12, two weeks after the channel first came was aired.
On May 31, when NaMo TV first began broadcasting their content, PM Modi tweeted an image, advertising the channel and said that he is excited for many to access his election campaigns, which is a clear violation of the EC's moral code of conduct.