In a shockingly honest confession, Tamil Nadu state Congress President Thirunavukkarasar admitted that there is no party in the state that does not bribe voters. He made this candid admission at the India Today’s South Conclave in Chennai on Monday, even as his peers DMK Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi sparred with PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss over bribing voters.
Accusing the two Dravidian heavyweights of bribing voters in the past, former Union Health Minister and PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss alleged that the AIADMK spent a whopping Rs 6000 crore while the DMK spent Rs 2000 crore in bribing voters in the 2016 Assembly Elections. He went onto claim that each voter was paid Rs 1500 by the DMK.
Retaliating over the allegations, Kanimozhi said it is easy for someone to take a moral high ground, but the PMK leader should explain his party’s source of funding.
"We have seen his campaigns, the extravaganza. Where is the money coming from? We all know how he became an MP," Kanimozhi alleged
While she insisted that bribing voters wouldn’t help win elections, the Rajya Sabha MP said only parties with ideologies and schemes can win elections.
Kanimozhi insisted that bribing people won't help win elections, but only parties that have ideologies and schemes to speak about can win elections. “Our party's working president MK Stalin has more ideology than you will ever have,” she shot back at Anbumani.
But even as Anbumani and Kanimozhi sparred over the issue, DMK ally’s and TNCC chief Thirunavukkarasar joined in and declared that there is no party that does not pay bribe in Tamil Nadu. He said, "I can tell you that no MP or MLA candidate spends just what the Election Commission of India mandates. No one can win elections with just Rs 25 lakh," he said.
Thirunavukkarasar also went on to allege that the AIAIDMK candidate who defeated his son Ramachandran in the Aranthangi constituency, spent Rs 25 crore during the campaign.
In the run-up to the May 2016 assembly elections in Tamil Nadu, the Election Commission cancelled polls to the Thanjavur and Aravakurichi constituencies following reports of large-scale distribution of money to voters.