Erode (East) bypoll | Independent candidate goes digital

S. Deepan Chakkravarthi, a vlogger and a former journalist, said his aim was not to run for votes, but to focus on three points.

Published - February 21, 2023 05:09 pm IST - ERODE

S. Deepan Chakkravarthi, an independent candidate contesting in the Erode (East) Assembly byelection, at his election war room in Namakkal town.
Photo Credit: Special arrangement

S. Deepan Chakkravarthi, an independent candidate contesting in the Erode (East) Assembly byelection, at his election war room in Namakkal town. Photo Credit: Special arrangement

At a time when candidates of political parties, accompanied by cadre and drum beaters, were focusing on door-to-door canvassing in the Erode (East) Assembly constituency, a 32-year-old Independent, S. Deepan Chakkravarthi, has created a war room at his native place in Namakkal town. He is reaching out to electors through digital media.

A vlogger, who had posted 12 awareness videos on the election process, said there are 2.28 lakh electors in the constituency and meeting them in person and seeking votes in a short span of time is difficult.

“The ‘mike’ symbol was allotted to me on February 10 and I have planned to reach out to 80,000 voters at the maximum by February 25,” he said. “My aim is not to run for votes, but to focus on three points,” he added.

He said his videos, each running less than two minutes, focus on filing nominations, explaining the affidavit and the election process and highlighting the environmental, agricultural and problems of traders in the constituency.

“Youth should observe the election process and enter politics: these are my aims,” he added.

His war room at his house on Mohanur Road in Namakkal town has two laptops, a camera and the digital work space needed for making videos.

“I worked as a journalist for 10 years and I do the content writing and shoot the videos myself,” said Mr. Chakkravarthi, who used to monitor the election process from the war room.

Though the Election Commission had fixed the maximum poll expenditure at ₹40 lakh a candidate, he has so far spent ₹315 — that too, for taking printouts of his election poster hanging in the room.

“Except for the deposit of ₹10,000 for contesting, I have planned to cap my expenditure at ₹2,000,” he adds. “My aim is not to obtain more votes, but to create awareness through social media as it reaches the youth easily,” a confident Mr. Chakkravarthi added.

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