On April 1, the front page of The Hindu and Times of India’s Tamil Nadu editions carried a political ad by the DMK. At the bottom of the page are drawings of three men, their backs turned towards the reader. These illustrated figures can be identified as Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam.
The three men are dreaming and each dream is an event which made headlines in Tamil Nadu, during the ruling AIADMK’s tenure. They include the Thoothukudi police firing following the anti-Sterlite protests in 2018, which killed 13 people, the NEET row - the illustration depicts a headmaster asking an LKG student to write NEET, the delay in building an AIIMS hospital in Madurai, rise in fuel prices, privatisation of public enterprises, etc
The ad is scathing in its criticism of EPS, OPS and Modi. Other dream bubbles in the ad show CM Edappadi being puppeteered with a picture of Modi and former CM J Jayalalithaa on either side - a reference to the allegation that the AIADMK is controlled by the BJP; the Anna Centenary Library, which was built during DMK tenure under M Karunanidhi, being turned into a Cow Welfare Centre - a dig at the BJP’s cow protection politics; OPS’s ‘dharma yudham’ version 4.0 and more.
The full page ad by the DMK was titled “Dreams of Fascists and their slaves” - referring to BJP at the Centre and the AIADMK government respectively. The AIADMK leads the NDA alliance in the upcoming Tamil Nadu Assembly polls, with the BJP contesting in 20 seats.
Front page ad by the DMK in Times of India
The bottom of the ad says “Let’s wake up to end this nightmare. Vote for the rising run,” with a symbol of the DMK’s logo. The next page has a list of DMK’s poll promises which range from the economy and education to farmers’ issues.
Meanwhile, the BJP has also released a front page ad in The New Indian Express (TNIE) against the DMK on Thursday. The ad refers to April Fools’ Day and says “If duped by the DMK, the next five years will be April 1st for us” with a request to vote for the two leaves symbol (AIADMK), the Mango (PMK) and the Lotus (BJP).
The ad also says “DMK is trying to fool us through its many shady schemes. Let’s put an end to their drama. Let’s reject DMK”.
Ad by the AIADMK-BJP in The New Indian Express
The ad wars in Tamil Nadu between the opposition and the ruling parties- both at the state and the Union government- comes with just days to go for the Assembly Election. Both fronts are also engaging in the ad war and counter-ad war on social media as well.
Tamil Nadu goes to the polls in a single phase on April 6.