On the day the DA case of Jayalalithaa was being argued in the Supreme Court by Sasikalaa’s lawyers rejecting the notion of Sasikalaa as a power centre, Times of India, Chennai edition carried a huge headline saying that Sasikalaa had a hand in the change of candidates in the upcoming elections.
While the headline screams “Sasikalaa’s stamp on changes in AIADMK’s list of candidates”, the article does not contain any information linking Sasikalaa to the changes that Jayalalithaa has made in the candidate list. No source or authenticity was quoted in the article to indicate Sasikalaa’s complicity in this matter. Instead it has been said throughout in the article that the changes have been effected based on the winnability of the candidates and the inputs received from the surveys and intelligence reports. That means even if Sasikalaa had wanted her men to be given seats, their winnability and popularity only had decided their inclusion in the list.
Such being the case, why this mischievous title was given by the News network of TOI? Why passing on specific notions as news and pushing them in the title by the News desk of TOI? If this news appears under some writer’s name, we will think that it is the writer’s wish to project such a notion. But when the news appears in the name of TOI news network, then it smacks of some hidden agenda or motive. Or is this a case of paid news by the TOI?
The title on Sasikalaa appearing at a time when the case is being heard about her complicity in DA case raises the question whether TOI is upto creating opinions in somebody’s mind. (If I mention who that somebody is, I may be accused of abuse of a constitutional authority). Only a DMK support- magazine can make such headlines without substance to support.
I would accuse that this is paid news, for, in the same newspaper a more important news of the day was not given the place that is due to it. Kanimozhi, Karunanidhi’s daughter had made an important statement that all the liquor manufacturing units run by the DMK men would be closed if DMK comes to power. This news appears as a small box item on the 10th page.
This was not told by some DMK man, but by the daughter of the DMK patriarch who is a contender to the post of a future successor to Karunanidhi. Kanimozhi have even said that once coming to power they would not even divert the liquor sales to other States. It would be a complete closure. Kanimozhi has said that this was told by Karunanidhi himself.
From another online magazine (tamil.oneindia.com)
Is this not a newsworthy statement? This statement by none other than Kanimozhi raises the counter question why not close down the liquor units NOW itself. If the DMK is serious about prohibition, why wait till it comes to power? It should close the manufacturing units now itself. Why TOI failed to give a prominent slot to this news item in its newspaper?
This statement by Kanimozhi spelling out DMK’s stance is worthy to be the headline in the front page but it also would attract a political storm. But by pushing it to a small box-news, TOI stands suspect in the eyes of the reader that it has tried to reduce the brickbats to the DMK generated by this statement. Why should it do this unless TOI had been taken care of well by the DMK. One can recall the meet with the media that Stalin had at the end of his “Namakku Naame” programme. Public has no idea of who attended that meet. But the news carried by the magazines, now including the TOI shows who attended it and what happened behind the screens.
Earlier TOI carried a news item (a few months ago) on the powerful / power wielding sons of politicians. Almost every politician in TN has a son or a son in law who is doing the controlling act from behind the politician. Sabareesan, the son in law of Stalin is a well known name in this segment. Only Jayalalithaa is left out in this area. As if to make up for it the TOI article / news item showed Jayalalithaa’s picture and a ‘son’ who is the son of the Ilavarasi. Has at any time until now, this son of Ilavarasi made his name or face or clout anywhere felt? But the news item said that he is the foster son of Jayalalithaa but could not pinpoint any instance of a role for him in the party or anywhere. But then why drag Jayalalithaa’s photo and that guy’s photo in that article? Is it to satisfy some pay masters and to say that TOI does a ‘level playing’ game with all parties, even if there is none to point out on Jayalalithaa in that segment?
This makes me think that TOI is going The Hindu way. The Hindu which was once called as Mount Road Mahavishnu by Karunanidhi is now known among readers as Mount Road Murasoli! (Murasoli is the official news paper of DMK). Not many believe or care about the articles and opinions published in The Hindu. It is now on par with many local Tamil dailies and magazines like Nakkeeran and Vikatan which are the mouth pieces of the DMK. No wonder the reader base of The Hindu is eroding day by day. The TOI is also going to go on that direction.
Apr 19 2016 : The Times of India (Chennai)
Sasikalaa's stamp on changes in AIADMK's list of candidates
TIMES NEWS NETWORK
Party Drops 8 Candidates, Replaces 3
AIADMK leader J Jayalalithaa's associate Sasikalaa appears to be making her presence felt as the AIADMK list of candidates for the assembly election goes through a review. On Monday, the party chief made yet another change in her list, dropping eight candidates and replacing three with ministers, who had been left out in the original list of 227 released on April 4.
So far, Jayalalithaa has changed 21 candidates. Sources said several factors influenced the AIADMK leader's decision, including Sasikalaa's insistence that some of her supporters, sitting MLAs, be retained, besides intelligence inputs about candidates' image, credibility and petitions from cadres.
Jayalalithaa has chosen to bring back three ministers, who did not figure in the initial list, to take on heavyweights from other parties.
While higher education minister P Palaniappan has been fielded in Pappireddipatti in Dharmapuri district, where he had contested and won in 2011,
minister for rural industries and milk P Mohan will contest in his home constituency of Sankarapuram in Cuddalore district. It was found that A S A Rajasekar, who was replaced by Mohan, was not so popular.
Tourism minister S P Shanmughanathan will contest again from Srivaikuntam in Tuticorin district.
Party leaders whisper about surveys conducted by the leadership to assess how voters are receiving their candidates.
It was found that G S Kuppusamy , who was fielded earlier in Pappirediipatti had poor prospects. “The feedback Amma got was that Kuppusamy was sure to lose,“ said a party functionary on condition of anonymity . The “survey“ apparently also indicated that Palaniappan would win if he was fielded.
Jayalalithaa has clearly accorded priority to ensuring that candidates with a clean image are fielded as corruption is emerging as a key plank.
Jayalalithaa had fielded Tamilarasi, the party's women's wing secretary , to take on DMK veteran K N Nehru in Trichy West. Later a decision was taken to replace her with Trichy district secretary R Manoharan and to move her to Trichy East. The decision to replace her kicked up a furore among her supporters, who picketed the entrance of the Rock Fort Temple when Natarajan and his men had gone to pray .
Subsequently, the leadership has replaced Tamilarasi with Vellamandi N Natarajan in Trichy East. In the process, Tamilarasi has now ended up losing her post as councillor in Trichy corporation as well. She had tendered her resignation from the post after announcement of her candidature.