Cash & liquor beat code of conduct

| April 19, 2014 | 0 Comments

New Delhi: That India’s general election is about more than campaigns and rallies has been proved by the tactics employed across the country by candidates, who have trotted out cash, alcohol, saris, wristwatches and even biryani to lure voters into backing them at the ballot box.

Despite the Election Commission’s vigil to prevent the use of inducements by candidates, complaints about the rampant use of money power and liquor have poured in from states like Bihar and Maharashtra. In West Bengal, the Trinamool Congress- led government has been accused of announcing an array of sops to influence voters.

Authorities in Bihar seized large amounts of cash and liquor pouches before the first and second phases of polling. Police lodged FIRs against former legislator Dharmendra Yadav and Manoj Kumar, son of a former minister, after they were found carrying over Rs 3 lakh each.

Police also seized a bagful of liquor pouches in the Patna Sahib constituency on Wednesday, a day before polling.

In Rajasthan, 17,280 complaints about violation of the code of conduct poured in from the state’s 25 Lok Sabha constituencies, including 20 that went to the polls on Thursday.

An election department spokesman said most complaints were related to destroying the hoardings of rivals, misusing religious places for campaigning and using objectionable language.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee approved a number of sops for state government employees, including a cashless health insurance and easy home loans. The state government allotted Rs 100 crore for house-building loans to benefit nearly 2.92 lakh employees. The move was seen as a political ploy to indirectly bag support from a huge vote bank — the government employees.

In Karnataka, saris, cash, wristwatches and biryani were some of the popular goodies doled out by candidates to lure voters to polling booths on Thursday. Residents of slums in urban areas and villagers in north Karnataka were the biggest beneficiaries of the largesse of candidates.

Voters from slums in the state capital Bangalore were allegedly offered Rs 500 each to vote for a particular party.

In Bangalore South, which witnessed a high-profile battle between former Union minister Ananth Kumar and Nandan Nilekani, BJP supporters were caught offering saris to voters. In Chitradurga, where Janata Dal-Secular candidate Goolihatti Shekar is contesting against sitting BJP MP Janardhana Swamy, biryani was offered to voters.

Shiv Sena leader Subhash Desai openly announced a party with food and cocktail at Goregaon in Mumbai on March 31, according to an FIR filed by the EC. In Ulhasnagar, on the outskirts of Mumbai, BJP MLA Kumar Ailani arranged a party on Wednesday for prominent persons on behalf of Shiv Sena candidate Shrikant Shinde.

How they have been doing it

In Bihar, large amounts of cash and liquor pouches were seized before the first and second phases of polling. Police lodged FIRs against former legislator Dharmendra Yadav and Manoj Kumar, the son of a former minister, after they were found carrying over Rs 3 lakh each.

In Rajasthan, 17,280 complaints about code of conduct violation have been made from the 25 Lok Sabha constituencies. An election department spokesman said several complaints involved misuse of religious places for campaigning.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has approved a number of sops for state government employees, including cashless health insurance and easy home loans. The state government allotted Rs 100 crore for houseconstruction loans to benefit nearly 2.92 lakh employees.

In Karnataka, saris, cash, wristwatches and biryani were some of the popular goodies doled out by candidates to lure voters to polling booths on Thursday. Voters from slums in state capital Bangalore were allegedly offered Rs 500 each to vote for a particular party.

In Jammu and Kashmir, senior National Conference leader Sakina was seen asking an aged person to swear by Allah and the Quran that he would work for her party.

In Maharashtra, Shiv Sena leader Subhash Desai announced a party with food and cocktails at Goregaon in Mumbai last month, according to an FIR filed by the Election Commission.

In Ulhasnagar, on the outskirts of Mumbai, BJP MLA Kumar Ailani arranged a party for prominent people on Wednesday on behalf of Shiv Sena candidate Shrikant Shinde.

Courtesy: Mail Today

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Category: Bihar NEWS