Monday, April 6, 2009

Reality bites TV poll shows in Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram (PTI):
The high-voltage electioneering in Kerala is turning out to be a reality drama with violence by supporters of rival candidates marring TV poll debates on Malayalam channels.

On some shows, audiences with different political leanings take the situation into their own hands making the candidates on show mute witness to their unruly behaviour.

Recording of one such show, arranged by the Asianet in Kozhikode on Wednesday, was abandoned shortly after the shooting began with the supporters of the UDF and LDF coming to blows.

Trouble began when the LDF supporters took offence at some "snide" comments from a section of the audience about CPI(M) candidate Muhammad Riyas, who did not turn up for the recording while his Congress and BJP rivals were present.

The charged supporters of rival candidates then turned their ire at the recording crew and even Congress candidate M K Raghavan, prompting his followers to form a human shield around him.

Commenting on the incident, Associate Editor of Asianet N K Raveendran told PTI, It is a pity that because of unruly behaviour of a section of audience thousands of voters are denied an opportunity to understand their candidates and the issues.

While the Congress alleged the violence was caused by activists of the CPI(M)'s youth wing DYFI, the latter stoutly denied having any role in the incident.

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