‘My Vote is Not for Sale’: B-PAC asks voters to say no to cash for votes

Posters and pamphlets have been put up in Govindraja Nagar and JP Nagar, among other areas, to spread awareness.
‘My Vote is Not for Sale’: B-PAC asks voters to say no to cash for votes
‘My Vote is Not for Sale’: B-PAC asks voters to say no to cash for votes
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The Bengaluru Political Action Committee (B-PAC) has launched a campaign to raise awareness among voters in the city about the practice of exchanging 'cash for votes' ahead of the elections scheduled to take place on May 12.

Raghavendra HS, who is in charge of Media and Politics at B-PAC, announced the launch of the campaign titled ‘My Vote is Not for Sale’.

Speaking to TNM, he said that during the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) elections in 2015, candidates would frequently inquire about the number of voters in each house. 

"They (candidates) would accordingly provide Rs 1,000 per vote. My mother was offered Rs 5,000 for five votes.  Without any knowledge of how problematic this is, she would accept the same on behalf of the family," Raghavendra said.

Over a thousand printed posters with the phrase ‘My Vote is Not for Sale’ have been put up on gates and distributed in apartments at Govindraja Nagar and JP Nagar, among other areas. Photographs were also shared on Facebook and WhatsApp to spread awareness among voters.

As per the Election Commission guidelines, every candidate contesting in the Assembly elections can spend Rs 28 lakhs for their campaign. “With the increase in cash and other gifts like alcohol, home appliances and clothes, candidates end up spending Rs 28 crore, instead of Rs 28 lakh for their campaign. This affects free and fair elections in the state,” Raghavendra said.

He added that slum dwellers were often the target of such schemes. “Cash for votes is corruption. It is a major issue during elections. Slums are often vulnerable areas where such a system is prevalent. In Bengaluru, areas around Govindharaja Nagar, Rajarajeshwari Nagar and Mahalakshmi Layout are those where cash has been distributed in the past. This prevents honest leaders from contesting in the elections,” added Raghavendra.

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