The Race at this full phase towards the 15th legislative elections to be held on May 16, 2016. Lots of first times introduced in this election.
Long before the battles were set to begin, it has begun. The war of memes. Throwing memes at each other was how political parties took the first leg of their election campaigns.
The DMK advertisement titled “Mudiyattum! Vidiyattum!” (Let it be over! Let it be dawn) had alleged that Ms. Jayalalithaa could be seen only on television, banners and stickers in all the five years in office.
Taking the poll campaign to a new level, the IT wing of the AIADMK started sending out messages to social media users, urging them to change their Facebook and Twitter profile pictures. The message carried two hyperlinks — one for Facebook and another for Twitter. The FB link leads to a green page that says ‘I stand with Amma, I stand for good governance’. Right below the message is the image of Chief Minister Jayalalithaa making the victory symbol.
Cinema and politics in the State are inseparable and the Dravidian majors continue to use the services of actors to reach out to voters. The DMK treasurer, M.K. Stalin, who has acted in a few movies and a television serial, employed his acting and singing skills to connect with the voters at an election rally sang a few lines of two yesteryear hit songs — “Poyyile piranthu poyyile valarndha pulavar perumane” and “Onra iranda eduthuchcholla” to highlight what he claimed were the misdeeds of Chief Minister Jayalalithaa. Amidst lusty cheers, Mr. Stalin went on to act out the way Ministers in the AIADMK government behave while meeting the AIADMK leader.
In a promo for the AIADMK, an old woman is seen entering a temple and eating there, emotionally proclaiming that even when her own children didn’t feed her, the government did.
A television promo for the DMK has a senior citizen lamenting that there has to be an end to governance by leaders who are not aware of ground reality and suffering of the people.
It turns out that both of them are the same — G.T. Kasturi. Known popularly as ‘Kasturi Paatti’, the 67-year-old, a regular in the Tamil cinema circuit, has become an overnight social media sensation with memes, videos and articles doing the rounds about how she is the ‘favourite model’ for the DMK and the AIADMK.
Not only the political parties, this time the election commission too started campaigning for 100% voting utilized social media platforms by creating memes and tweets themed around films, which resulted in a wide reach in Tamil Nadu.
Additionally, the Election Commission also recruited media personalities Suriya, Ashwin and Dinesh Karthik, whose campaigning videos were filmed and shared on social media.
The Election Commission also partnered with Twitter, for the first time in India, to boost its #TN100Percent hashtag campaign. Twitter users who have made use of the hashtag will be reminded to vote on the day of voting.
Twitter and Facebook collaborated with Election Commission of India in its awareness campaign on striving for 100 per cent voting in the polls.
As a step ahead, Vellore district administration printed a ‘wedding card’ inviting people to vote, it is the turn of Sivaganga has gone a step further, sending out the invitations in a traditional thamboola thattu, with fruits, flowers, betel leaves and nuts The yellow-coloured invitation card carries toll free numbers where election-related complaints can be filed. The Collector has printed one lakh invitations and is planning to distribute them throughout the district.
Apart from the Election commission’s campaigns few NGO’s too came forward to promote #TN100percent initiative.
A SVEEP ( Systematic Voters’ Education and electoral Participation) initiative aimed at creating awareness among voters. Students of the Tamil Nadu government Music College ,Chennai participated in huge number along with dancers from various dance schools,members of ABHAI.
My Vote for My Tamil Nadu’ (#EnVoteEnTamilNadu) is a campaign by Eminent dancers from #TamilNadu have come together to appeal to voters to make an informed choice in the Tamil Nadu #AssemblyElections2016.
Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam
Dr. Swarnamalya Ganesh
This election has also set new heights the other way around also. The total seizure by election expenditure monitoring officials, including those from the Income Tax Department, crossed Rs. 100 crore on Thursday, with just three days left before the May 16 Assembly polls.
Keeping fingers crossed for the election commission to make all its efforts towards #TN100percent initiative a grand success.
Closing here with the message from the Chief Election Commissioner of Tamil nadu.
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