Tamil channels flout rules | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Tamil channels flout rules

PTI | ByIndo-Asian News Service, Chennai
May 10, 2004 06:33 PM IST

Channels cared little for rules when they aired old films of Jayalalithaa and showed footage of Karunanidhi's sensational arrest till the polling day.

Campaigning for Monday's fifth and final phase of the general election in Tamil Nadu ended Saturday but this did not deter private TV channels from reaching out to electors even as they ventured out to exercise their franchise.

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The Election Commission has banned TV channels from showing films and videos of film stars who are candidates in the poll - but it said nothing about former stars.

Hindustan Times - your fastest source for breaking news! Read now.

This gave channels like Vijay TV a virtual carte blanche to show films and song routines of Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa - a mega star in her younger days opposite MG Ramachandran, the founder of the AIADMK that she now heads and also a former chief minister.

But, then, TV is a double-edged weapon. The Sun TV network aligned to the opposition DMK has been airing footage of party chief M Karunanidhi and programmes that aim to run down three years of Jayalalitha'sa rule.

Jayalalithaa, though not contesting the election, has been the biggest campaigner for the AIADMK, which has fielded candidates in 33 of Tamil Nadu's 39 constituencies.

Thus, from where the official campaigning ended Saturday evening, Tamil TV channels like Vijay have been showing Jayalalithaa's films and song sequences till Monday.

These depict a young Jayalalithaa in well-loved roles opposite Ramachandran, better known as MGR, playing the popular hero.

MGR had established the AIADMK after breaking with the parent DMK and Jayalalithaa inherited the party on his death. She became the chief minister for the second time in 2001.

MGR is still dear to millions in rural Tamil Nadu and Jayalalithaa, during the campaign, had been telling voters that she had been taking care of MGR's constituencies - and so they must vote for MGR's party.

On the flip side, the Sun TV network that is owned by the sons of the late Murasoli Maran, DMK chief M Karunanidhi's nephew, has been airing a series of programmes that mock Jayalalithaa's term in office.

Also being constantly aired is footage of Karunanidhi being arrested in June 2001 on the orders of Jayalalithaa's government.

Invariably, the programmes end with: "So, be sure whom you vote for. And be sure to go out and vote".

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