Whoever said election campaigns are boring have not met this bunch of Tamil Nadu candidates contesting the 2021 Assembly polls. Contestants from both ruling AIADMK, the opposition DMK and in some cases, even independents are grabbing eye-balls with their campaign ideas.
The candidates canvassed by reaching out to the common voters through everyday activities like washing clothes and cooking food. Some of them even resorted to begging. Either ways, all of these candidates decided to ditch conventional campaign methods and grabbed eyeballs in the process.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi too experimented with unconventional styles of campaigning when he swam with the fishermen of Kerala off the coast of Kollam, and cooked and ate Tamil Nadu’s ‘Kaalan’ or mushroom biriyani when he visited the state. The campaigns of the DMK and AIADMK candidates in Tamil Nadu, much like those by Rahul Gandhi, definitely got noticed.
Out-of-the-box, amusing or downright bizarre? You can take a look at these campaigns and decide what they are.
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Thanga Kathiravan’s campaign literally made people stop and watch. The AIADMK candidate washed clothes in the middle of a road in his constituency - Nagapattinam. According to reports, Kathiravan sat down to wash clothes for a woman who lives in Vannantheru. The candidate’s messaging was simple - poor families need no longer suffer doing household chores as they can now get washing machines - a poll promise in AIADMK’s manifesto.
As he washed the clothes, Kathiravan was greeted with slogans including ‘victory to the two leaves symbol’. The candidate handed over a piece of clothing that he washed to its owner and also said ‘take care’.
Candidates also targeted different sections of voters. In Singanellur, AIADMK’s KR Jayaram sat on a stool and sold vegetables including bitter gourd, tomatoes, aubergine etc at the Peelamedu market in Coimbatore. Jayaram later met the vegetable sellers of the Peelamedu market and promised that new schemes for traders will be implemented if the AIADMK comes to power. He also made note of their grievances.
Image courtesy: Twitter/Shilpa S Nair
In Madurai, AIADMK MLA and Minister for Revenue and Disaster Management RB Udhayakumar worked in the paddy fields in Thirumangalam, his constituency, to ask for votes. As Udhayakumar sowed paddy seeds in the field, the women farmers around him cheered him on.
The minister also did door-to-door canvassing, fell on the feet of elderly voters and sprinkled water on the foundations of buildings in his constituency to ask for votes.
Another innovative campaign was that of DMK candidate T Sampath Kumar. Standing from the Edappadi constituency in Salem, Sampath is contesting against Chief Minister Palaniswamy. The DMK candidate visited a beedi making unit and helped the women workers roll the bedis.
Image courtesy: Twitter/Shilpa S Nair
Another DMK candidate Prabhakar Raja, contesting from Virugambakkam in Chennai made hot, crispy dosas for voters in a unique election campaign. A viral video of Raja cleaning the hot pan and spreading the batter is on social media. The candidate used a roadside stall to make dosa.
An independent candidate from Madurai wore a torn baniyan and veshti, took to the streets and begged for votes. The candidate asked for ‘votes as donation’ by holding a yellow placard with the words ‘Give your vote as donation. This place will become better,” scribbled in Tamil.
If the previous campaign wasn’t strange enough, actor-turned-politician Mansoor Ali Khan, sat next to a pile of garbage on the street and took down the grievances of voters in a small note pad. Mansoor who is contesting as an independent candidate from Coimbatore’s Thondamuthur seat was wearing black baniyan and a green striped T shirt over it.
Image courtesy: Twitter/Janardhan Koushik
Independent candidate Noor Mohammed of the Kinathukadavu Assembly constituency in Podanur had a secular message for voters. Wearing a Islamic skull cap, a rudraksh around his neck and holding a rosary to spread the message of religious harmony, Noor asked voters to vote for his symbol - the gift box.
In Kerala, Roshy Augustine, MLA and Kerala Congress (M) candidate from Idukki, made parottas at a local hotel as part of his election campaign. A viral video shows Roshy slapping the parotta dough on the stone to make it bigger before cooking it.