After the AIADMK-owned Jaya TV and DMK-promoted Sun TV, another TV channel backed by a political party is set to be launched in Tamil Nadu. The channel - Lotus News - comes from the BJP stable and will be launched on October 11 in the state. The BJP has no MP or MLA in Tamil Nadu and many see this as a move to improve its tally in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The channel, however, says it will give the BJP its airspace but stay neutral.
"BJP's propaganda would be there. We will not be high on it. But we would bring BJP's knowledge, because in India we can't separate BJP from India," said D Bharathi Mohan, Managing Director, Lotus News.
"We would give fastest news and would want to solve many of our country' s problems through our channel" said Suresh Kumar, head of Assignments, Lotus News.
In southern India, owning a TV news channel is becoming a must for the success of any political outfit. Soon Tamil Nadu may have even the country's first Dalit channel from VCK.
Next year neighbouring Kerala, which has been a stronghold of communists, will also see the launch of a news channel, which will promote the CPI. The state already has two channels - Kairali backed by the CPI(M) and Jaihind promoted by the Congress' state President.
"The Indian media is controlled by the corporate. As a communist party we are fighting against the liberal policy and the anti-people policy of the government and against the corporate houses. Naturally other channels may not give publicity for our campaign, agitations and all," said Kaanan Rajendran, National Executive Member, CPI, English.
"We don't take a partisan stand...Though there might be a flavour of Congress in the news, we have set viewers and try to satisfy them sincerely," said Ramesh Chennithala, President, Jaihind Channel.
However, the growing trend has many worried about the growing number of proxy channels which function as mouthpieces of political parties.
"They would begin like an objective channel and would slowly push their ideology. Political parties should instead start their own channel," said Gnani, columnist and media critic.
For the moment, Gujarat though is treading cautiously. NaMo Gujarat - a cable television channel dedicated to publicising Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi - is yet to go on air. Its transmission of testing signals has been stopped. It's believed that promoters of the channel have decided not to air the channel till they get clearance from the Election Commission.