Thursday, December 13, 2012

Modi men at helm, NaMo TV goes on air, quietly

KapilDave : Gandhinagar, Fri Oct 05 2012, 03:40 hrs
Propaganda war The channel will telecast CM’s programmes live till the
polls are over
A day after the state Assembly elections were announced, an IPTV
website and a parallel cable TV channel, NaMo Gujarat, named
eponymously after Chief Minister Narendra Modi, began their operations
on Thursday.
The channel, which will telecast Modi’s speeches and showcase the
achievements of his government, can be accessed across the state
through GTPL and In-cable, the two largest cable networks in the
Namo also means “bowing down to” in Gujarati.
The test signals for NaMo Gujarat started four days ago and the
channel was launched without any formal announcement or fanfare
Thursday morning.
The channel now will be seen 24x7 in all televisions sets with cable
connections. For direct-to-home(DTH) and digital TV viewers, the state
BJP has partnered with five local Gujarati satellite channels which
will broadcast the same content prepared by the NaMo TV.
The project is under the supervision of state’s Industries Minister
Saurabh Patel, a trusted aide of Modi, and Parindu Bhagat (Kakubhai)
of the BJP, also said to be close to the CM.
The BJP has outsourced the project to newhopeinfotainment ltd, an
Ahmedabad-based company, and to South India-based leading TV group
Asianet TV.
A hi-tech new studio has been opened for the channel in Prahladnagar
area of Ahmedabad.
A senior BJP leader associated with the project said, “From today, we
have launched NaMo Gujarat and IPTV channel Another
site is already in cyberspace. They will broadcast
the CM’s recent and old speeche, besides telecasting live his election
programmes. There will be live debates in which senior BJP leaders
will present the party’s views. There will be no negative content.
Both the channels will focus on CM’s message to the people of state.”
The channel will likely remain on air till the end of Assembly polls
(December-end), but may continue operations if CM wishes so, said a
source, while refusing to give an estimated cost of the project.
A senior official of the Asianet TV network said the company’s role
was limited to technical assistance. “The content is being managed by
newhopeinfotainment and local BJP leaders,” he said.
The state BJP has already tied up with four major vernacular satellite
news and entertainment TV channels where Modi’s election campaign
programmes are being shown live.
During the 2007 Assembly elections, the state BJP had started “Vande
Gujarat” IPTV channel, which also functioned through cable network.
The channel was run by a businessman in Ahmedabad who also own an IT
company. After complaints from the Congress, the Election Commission
had put some restrictions on the channel.
Anita Karwal, Chief Electoral Officer in Gujarat, could not be reached
for a response.