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PM Narendra Modi's release postponed, now set for first day of polling

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The film was supposed to be released on Friday, but its certification for public exhibition was apparently delayed.

Keyur Seta

In an unexpected turn of events, the release of PM Narendra Modi has been postponed by six days.

The film, a biopic of prime minister Narendra Modi, was supposed to be released on Friday. But the film will now be released on Thursday 11 April, purportedly to get in at least six days before the release of the big-budget Dharma multi-starrer Kalank. The Abhishek Varman film is set for release on Wednesday 17 April.

Earlier, sources had suggested PM Narendra Modi was having some trouble with the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). Later in the evening, sources connected with the film confirmed that the release had to be put off because of a delay in acquiring a certificate for public exhibition.

Curiously, 11 April, the film's new release date, is the day when elections for the seventeenth Lok Sabha get underway. The seven-phase exercise will only end on 19 May. Narendra Modi, the subject of the film, and his Bharatiya Janata Party are seeking a renewed mandate to govern India for another five years.

Earlier in the day, it was reported that the Election Commission of India had refused to stay the film's release, saying that power was vested only in the CBFC.

A hint about there being some issue with the film's content, quite apart from the concern expressed by opponents of the BJP and Modi that the film was but a sly publicity vehicle for their campaign, was first received when the trailer was released last month.

After the trailer launch event, the trailer was not released for the public on YouTube until almost 10 hours later. And the version that was released on YouTube did not have a scene featuring Modi’s mother and wife Jashodhaben. The scene was present in the trailer shown at the event.