The ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu launched a 24-hour satellite television news channel "News J" on Wednesday, in a big push to claim its former chief Jayalalithaa's legacy ahead of the mega by-elections for 20 assembly seats expected to be announced by the Election Commission soon.
The AIADMK's official mouthpiece for years, "Jaya TV", is now with the ousted and jailed party chief VK Sasikala's family which blacks out the state government's programmes.
Speaking after the launch, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said, "I appeal to the media to carry news giving importance to the various schemes Amma's government is implementing. I emphasize this because a few channels give importance to negative news and keep repeating them."
It is now virtually a battle for eye balls among political party-affiliated television channels. For years the key tussle was between the Dravidan arch rivals' Sun TV and Jaya TV.
Later Kalaignar TV joined the DMK's stable; Captain TV for Vijaykanth's DMDK, Makkal TV for PMK, while Vasanth TV and Mega TV root for the Congress.
News J makes its debut as the main opposition party, the DMK, garners support for a united opposition ahead of the crucial 2019 parliamentary elections.
AIADMK's former legislator R Rajalaskhmi says "AIADMK will win in both the by polls and also in the upcoming 2019 Lok Sabha polls. We are the only party well prepared for elections".
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