Spicing up shows with memes from social media, comic clips from Tamil movies and innovative advertisements, TV channels supporting various political parties, including ruling AIADMK and DMK have turned a key campaign tool in Tamil Nadu for the May 16 assembly elections.

 

Jaya Plus TV programme "Nalla Sollrangayya Detail," anchored by noted Tamil comedian Singamuthu, ridicules DMK and other political parties in the actor's own inimitable style while recalling the "achievements" of the AIADMK regime.

 

Attacking DMK, he asks if the Karunanidhi-led party implemented its poll promises like land to the landless when it assumed power in 2006.

 

Mimicking Vijayakanth, he asks if it was difficult for the DMDK chief and Chief Ministerial candidate of the DMDK-PWF combine to communicate clearly, how come he could aspire to the top job in the State. He says "in one form or the other" all the schemes of Chief Minister Jayalalithaa (like free mixies, grinders) has reached all households.

 

The channel also carries regular promotional programmes like "My Leader" highlighting AIADMK's welfare schemes like low-cost Amma Canteen food chain with catchy phrases like "Sonnathayum Seithom Sollathathayum Seithom" (We delivered what we promised and what we had not promised.)

 

If the pro-ruling party channel has this catchphrase, rivals have come up with a counter. TV channels like Sun News aired advertisements captioned 'Sonneengale, Senjeengala' (You promised, did you deliver?) targeting the AIADMK.

 

The ruling party took exception to this and has made a representation to the Chief Electoral Officer stop its airing. It had claimed that the advertisements violated the election code and the EC has said it would look into it.

 

However, DMK leaders like M K Stalin continue to pose the same question in their campaign trail. "Sonnangale Senjangala," (They promised, did they deliver?)

 

Interestingly, Sun News channel also mixes up, intersperses the speeches of leaders made on different occasions, giving it a hilarious effect targeting the ruling party.

 

For instance, it shows a clipping in which Jayalalithaa says she brings welfare schemes after thorough thinking (Yosithu Yosithu). Next comes TNCC Chief Elangovan's quip "Yosithu Yosithu Parkiren Ondrun Puriyavillai" (I think repeatedly I do not understand anything.)

 

Pro-DMK Kalaignar TV and Kalaignar Seithigal channels flood viewers with the a string of "achievements" of the previous DMK regime. For example,it chronicled how Karunanidhi gave 1,78,880 acre surplus land from landlords to 1,37,236 landless farmers by enacting the Land Ceiling Act in 1970.

 

Makkal TV,a pro-PMK channel,hits hard at rivals,including AIADMK, DMK and DMDK. It also gives repartees to comments of rival leaders through comical quips from Tamil movies.

 

Also, most channels including Makkal TV invariably have memes from social media ridiculing leaders for their specific comments.

 

Makkal TV has hard hit serious programming against rivals. For instance, it cited the Sarkaria Commission indictments against Karunanidhi in a recent show and went on to chronicle corruption allegations against Chief Minister Jayalalithaa.

 

Showing a DMDK chief Vijayakant's difficult-to- comprehend comments, the channel juxtaposes it with PMK chief Ministerial candidate Anbumani Ramadoss's distinctive promise for good governance and asks "who will be your choice?"