A man uses his mobile phone to take photographs of a poster of the upcoming film "PM Narendra Modi" during the launch of its poster in Mumbai, India January 7, 2019. (Photo: REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas)

A BIOPIC about Indian prime minister Narendra Modi has been barred from release until after the national elections.

The film, PM Narendra Modi, was set to release on April 11.

Opposition parties have described as propaganda, and India’s election commission on Wednesday (10) said any biopic “which has the potential to disturb the level playing field during the elections should not be displayed”.

In its order, the election commission said it was vital that “the power of media is not used in such a manner which affects the general conduct” of the elections.

The Congress, the main opposition party, had lobbied for the movie to be withheld from cinemas until voting ends on May 19, saying the film was a “political venture.”

“We believe, it is not just a corrupt practice, but the very launch of the film is motivated,” Congress leader Kapil Sibal said, pointing out that three producers of the film and the lead actor, Vivek Oberoi, belonged to the BJP.

“So, the whole purpose is to gain advantage,” Sibal said. “This is violative of all norms. This is no artistic venture. It is a political venture and that is what we have told the Election Commission and should not be allowed. It does not allow for a level playing field.”

PM Narendra Modi tells the story of Modi’s ascent to power from his days selling tea at a train station. The film includes his early years with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and his long stint as chief minister of Gujarat.