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Washing clothes, breaking coconuts; candidates spice up campaign

By The Assam Tribune
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Chennai, March 25: Amusing spectacles unfold every day with candidates attempting a variety of things from donning the role of a chef to washing clothes to woo voters, spicing up the campaign for the April 6 Assembly polls in Tamil Nadu.
Amid laughter and claps, AIADMK candidate from Royapuram here, D Jayakumar filled a pot fully with water for a woman by manually operating a roadside handpump.

Also, the Fisheries Minister Jayakumar dons the signature 'MGR' cap sometimes and goes around his constituency on a cycle-rickshaw to seek votes.
During his campaign, DMK nominee from Virugambakkam AVM Prabakar Raja displayed his culinary skills at a small eatery by quickly pouring batter on the tawa and making a hot dosa.

If Makkal Needhi Maiam candidate Priyadarshini from Egmore sat at a roadside eatery, prepared spicy fried fish and requested support, popular actor and independent candidate Mansoor Ali Khan is going solo on a moped to seek votes.
Contesting from Thondamuthur (Coimbatore region), Khan broke coconuts with dexterity using a machete belonging to a vendor selling tender coconut. When there was no one to buy the coconut he broke, he paid for it and drank the coconut water.

Touring Sowcarpet here, which is home to a large number of natives of northern states, DMK nominee from Harbour constituency P K Sekar Babu and Lok Sabha MP Dayanidhi Maran sported bright red Rajasthani headgear. In the past polls, DMK wall posters in Hindi in this area were not uncommon.
Going several steps ahead of all of them was the Nagapattinam segment contestant belonging to the AIADMK, Thanga Kathiravan.

While canvassing votes, he spotted a woman washing clothes in Nagore in front of her house. Not stopping with offering to wash clothes of her household, he did that and after squeezing the clothes dry, came his punchline.

He told her that she need not strain herself so much to wash clothes as AIADMK has promised a washing machine for every household and the only thing she needed to do was to vote for the two-leaves symbol.

AIADMK rival and Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam chief TTV Dhinakaran, during his campaign, mimicked late DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi's voice to rounds of applause from his supporters.

He imitated the late leader's voice to mock the DMK's poll promise of Rs 1,000, 'rights' assistance to women family heads every month. Dhinakaran is fighting both the AIADMK and the DMK and he has branded the two parties as betrayers and evil forces respectively.

Many candidates, including former Chennai Mayor and AIADMK nominee 'Saidai' Duraisamy, did not miss an opportunity to prepare tea by stepping into roadside tea shops. BJP's star candidate Khushbu Sundar even prepared tea at the residence of a voter in her Thousand Lights segment here.

Another feature seen during the current election is candidates, cutting across party lines, honouring voters with a shawl while seeking votes in both rural and urban areas. Several candidates make it a point to touch the feet of the elderly to seek their blessings, which is however, not unusual.

While AIADMK candidates V V Rajan Chellappa and M R Vijayabaskar tried their hands at traditional handlooms, PMK's M Thilaga Bama helped a vegetable vendor and several other aspirants flock to places of worship, praying for success. Also, song-dance shows, in which performers recreate popular numbers with lyrics to suit a specific party, and performances by folk artists add colour to campaigns.
In a poll event, some even dressed up like 'Chhota Bheem,' 'Motu' and 'Patlu,' cartoon characters popular with children.

"Stalin thaan Vaararu," (Stalin is coming) and "Boomi Ulla Varai" (a song in praise of 'Amma' Jayalalithaa) are among the campaign songs that reverberate in the poll meetings of the DMK and AIADMK. - PTI

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