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Folksy campaigns

Good morning, Chennai!

☀️ Today’s weather: High: 36 ℃ | Low: 25 ℃ | Sunny weather for today.

🧐 Did you know? In the last Lok Sabha elections, North Chennai had the highest percentage of voters in the city, with 64%.

🎭 Adding song and dance to campaigns

(Image credit: Gramiya Kalai Kuzhu’s Facebook post)

Folk artists are adding colour and spectacle to the city’s poll campaigns.

What’s it about? To help engage voters and increase awareness of voting, folk artists have been roped in by organisations and campaigns for performances.

  • Folk art troupes have become integral to some campaigns. It’s a way to give some cultural connection to elections and voting. Performances are sometimes recorded and uploaded on social media for wider reach.
  • Perungalathur-based Gramiya Semmangu Kalaikuzhu run by folk artist V Jayashankar was brought in by the Chengelpet collectorate.

History: Using art in campaigns dates back to pre-independence days. Post-independence, the Dravidian parties used art, particularly cinema, for election campaigning.

🗳️ Voting pledge

(Image credit: Greater Chennai Corporation’s X post)

Over 4 lakh people in North Chennai set a record by taking a voting pledge for the upcoming elections.

What’s it about? The record was set for maximum pledges to vote within half a day. Officials from North Chennai received awards from the Elite World Records and the India Records Academy. The Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) programme also included awareness activities, quizzes, and essay writing.

  • The Chennai Corporation also organised folk dances and music events at Tondiarpet’s Sharma Nagar market and near the Vaidhyanathan Bridge roundtana.
  • Over 3,700 polling officers were trained at city colleges on Saturday. Last week, over 19,000 officers attended the training programme.

Other activities: Election officials have also seized money and other valuables since the model code of conduct came into force. Over ₹9 crore has been seized so far. The Corporation has also removed nearly 80,000 posters, banners and other ads that violate the poll code.

✈️ Charter flight demand

As campaigning heats up, private airlines are aiding politicians in hiring charter flights.

What’s it about? Private airlines have set up booking stalls at the airport and hotels to help politicians hire charter flights for travel while campaigning. Many hired such flights during the 2021 Assembly elections.

  • These charter flights are mostly used by leaders like Rahul Gandhi, Kamal Hassan, and union ministers visiting the city and Pondicherry.
  • The normal tariff for these flights starts from ₹1,017 per minute for a six-seater flight, ₹3,270 for a sever-seater, and ₹7,194 for a fourteen-seater. Helicopters are also available for over ₹2,000 per minute.

High demand: With Congress and BJP leaders expected to visit the state in the final days before polling begins, there’s expected to be a high demand for charter flights.

🚇 Stalled metro work on OMR

(Image credit: Venks’ X post)

Metro construction on Old Mahabalipuram Road (OMR) is yet to begin due to trouble in awarding contracts.

What’s it about? The delay in construction has irked motorists since the 10 km stretch has become risky at night as the streetlights have been removed to facilitate construction activities. The lights currently installed have been switched off due to inactivity. Residents are worried the line will be delayed.

  • The main contractor had to walk away from a contract with a company tasked to build the line. Construction from Nehru Nagar to Shollinganallur, assigned to another contractor is underway.
  • Metro officials are confident that work will begin in a week or two since a new contractor has been assigned. The agreement states the contractors shouldn’t remove machinery if the work couldn’t be completed.

Bad for residents: People have had to drive through multiple barricades, and that’s likely to continue for the next few years. The traffic marshal employed by the contractor is absent.

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🗞️ In other news…

That’s it for today. Have a great day!

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