Tamil film body poll to be fought on party lines

June 14th, 2008 - 7:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, June 14 (IANS) The Tamil Film Producers’ Council (TFPC) election next month is set to be fought on party lines again, with the main contestants making clear their alliances with the state’s ruling DMK and main opposition AIADMK. The council’s present president Ramanarayanan is leading a team of contestants who have called themselves Tamil Pada Thayarippalargal Munnetra Anee (Tamil Film Producers’ Progressive Group), more or less an open admission of its being yet another DMK outfit, a senior film producer said.

A rival group claiming to represent the pro-opposition faction has announced its support for Raadhika’s candidature in the July 6 polls.

Surprisingly, one of its supporters is producer-director S.A. Chandrasekhar, hitherto known to be a staunch DMK supporter. His other claim to fame is son Vijay - a top Tamil hero.

During the last days of J. Jayalalithaa’s earlier tenure as chief minister, this openly pro-AIADMK TFPC rump had ensured the discontinuance film-based software reaching Sun TV, saying the channel was a mouthpiece of the DMK.

A soap opera featuring Raadhika is now being beamed by Sun TV, owned by Kalanidhi Maran, the estranged grandnephew of Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi.

The TV channel had continued the serial even when the actress and her husband Kumar had a brief dalliance with the Jayalalithaa-led AIADMK during the last assembly elections.

Kumar had been a Rajya Sabha member attached to the DMK - a post he quit to join the AIADMK - which he quit later to form AISMK.

Raadhika owns 51.42 percent of the shares of Radaan Mediaworks Ltd, a publicly listed company.

The Maran brothers - Kalanidhi and Dayanidhi, who are known to have open differences with DMK patriarch Karunanidhi and his immediate family, have been openly promoting Kumar’s AISMK.

Marans are, however, playing safe at present, giving equal importance to the campaign of Ramanarayanan who has in turn announced he would demand the restoration of MGR Film City in the southern suburbs here.

Meanwhile, the Madras High Court has issued notices to Ramanarayanan and A.V.M. Murugan, the returning officer during last year’s elections, as a petition has challenged his continuance this year, alleging that Murugan allowed massive rigging and helped Ramanarayanan win.

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