CHENNAI: While the State’s top political leaders are fighting tooth and nail to win the upcoming elections, local candidates are adopting quirky tactics from washing clothes and cooking, to boxing and crying to capture the hearts of voters.
Known for his humour and repartee, AIADMK’s Royapuram candidate D Jayakumar has been playing kabaddi, pumping water, performing on percussion instruments, and singing songs from films of former CM MG Ramachandran. One of the songs he picked was Vetri Meethu Vetri Vanthu (victory upon victory), to denote the victory he says his party will achieve in the polls.
MNM’s Egmore candidate U Priyadarsini, meanwhile, fried fish and helped a cook prepare biryani, while Virugambakkam’s DMK candidate Prabhakara Raja AMV made dosas at an eatery. Mohammed Idris, who is contesting against Udhayanidhi Stalin in Chepauk-Thiruvallikeni, campaigned carrying a toy autorickshaw, which is the symbol allotted to him, while dancers performed to Naan Autokaaran, a track from actor Rajinikanth’s Baasha.DMK’s Thiruvottiyur candidate KP Shankar went for a bout with a boxer in the constituency.
Outside Chennai, actor-cum-politician A Mansoor Ali Khan, who is contesting as an Independent from Thondamuthur, sought votes by cutting fish and tender coconuts amid cheers from fans. In Kumbakonam, Moovendar Munnetra Kazhagam chief Sridhar Vandaiyar showcased his Silambam skills during a recent campaign, while Nagapattinam’s AIADMK candidate Thanga Kathiravan stopped a woman who was doing her laundry, and did the job himself.
Political observers say such acts shouldn’t be counted as much more than entertainment. “When such gimmicks are performed, the candidate hardly knows the locals. There is rarely any connection,” said a veteran journalist.