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Synergy hopes for big poll business

By BS Regional Bureau in Hyderabad
March 18, 2004 11:06 IST
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Starting a new trend in the big buck business of election campaigning, Synergy Communications, an Andhra Pradesh-based company and a division of Visu Group of Companies, has prepared a three-hour video and audio campaign programmes 'on its own' for the use of Congress candidates and its allies in the state.

Synergy claims that it can be a one-stop shop solution for prospective candidates in the ensuing elections, irrespective of their party affiliations, from providing visual software to arranging helicopters for electioneering.

The company has claimed that its services were on offer to all political parties and it would undertake campaigns through telephone and SMS, arrange for hoardings to be put up in villages and where the content would be regularly changed.

Other services include tracking of election code violations by the rival candidates. Though the price tags are yet to be fixed, the offer list include periodic surveys to cross-check the effectiveness of the campaign and to suggest modifications and remedial measures, customised advertisements according to the local needs, cartoons for use on both posters and animated videos, audio songs touching on various issues of the people. Mobile projection systems along with technical staff are also made available to the candidates.

Among the programmes that the company has in its stable is an explosive video presentation studded with a rare interview of the late N T R who makes a vitriolic attack on N Chandrababu Naidu, his son-in-law.

The most intriguing part is the claim of C C Reddy, the chairman of the Visu group of companies, who is designated as vice-chairman of the newly formed state Congress party election committee, that the software developed by Synergy Communications had nothing to do with the Congress party.

Addressing the media, he said that the software would be made available for the candidates and party functionaries for a price.

"As far as the software produced for the Congress and its allies, it is not exactly a business proposition. But I am not going to distribute it free of cost," said Reddy. He said the company had spent about Rs 50 lakh (Rs 5 million) to produce the campaign material.

"The use of local electronic media will be explored without attracting the provisions of the Election Commission code," the press release issued by the company says.

He said that the company will even undertake distribution of pamphlets by helicopters and arrange helicopter transport for candidates and leaders of various political parties.

C C Reddy, an NRI, who claims to have had an inside view of five US presidential elections said that this exposure had come in handy to devise the packaging of services to candidates and assist them in running a highly professional and sustained campaign.

A dozen postgraduates from the field of communication, television production, film production, specialised writing and theatre, a survey division with an extensive network of 50 full-time employees and over six hundred freelance executives have been recruited for the purpose, Reddy said.

For a political outfit like the Congress, which is yet to finalise its election manifesto in the state, the readymade audio visual software developed by Synergy can be a shot in the arm in the run-up to the elections.

The Congress can almost match the ruling TDP if it can make use of the software which the Visu group claims it developed "on its own".

Questioned on whether that particular video piece on Naidu had attracted the attention of the Election Commission which has advised candidates and political parties to desist from personal accusations, he said that what he had used in the video was an original interview of N T Ramarao.

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