The election commission has recovered several gifts including school bags, gas stoves and lottery tickets.

Nose studs mobile talktime and water tanks What TNs politicians are offering for votes
news TN 2016 Tuesday, May 03, 2016 - 16:29

 As the state gears up for the assembly elections scheduled on May 16, political parties are leaving no stone unturned when it comes to ‘incentives’ for votes. With cash seizures across the state breaking all-time records, parties have made transactions as less monetary as possible.

Here are some of the most popular and out-of-the box ‘gifts’ which are on offer for your votes.

Sintex tanks

Three lorries carrying a total 16 Sintex tanks were seized by the Election Commission’s flying squad in Nilgiris district, on Sunday. According to News7 , these tanks were being taken to be distributed among voters in the Kudalur constituency by the ruling party.

Marks for votes

According to an Economic Times report, a WhatsApp message from the AIADMK camp was doing the rounds on the morning of April 27 claiming a ‘marks for votes’ scheme undertaken by a rival camp. The message stated that a candidate, who owned an engineering college in Thiruvallur, was promising more marks to his students if they voted for him.

Tokens

With cash transactions proving to be risky, various political parties have taken to distributing tokens among the electorate. The voters can then go to select shops and exchange these tokens for home appliances like refrigerators and washing machines. “At the voter level, cash has come to be replaced with tokens, for purchase of household items from street corner shops. In stand-alone by-elections, even white goods like television sets and refrigerators are on offer mostly through the ‘coupon system’,” said Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer Rajesh Lakhoni to The News Minute.

Mobile recharges

It is the age of mobile phones and technology, and political parties sure have tapped this medium. While many of them may not be active on social media, their method of propagating smartphone consumerism is no far behind. Political parties have now shifted to offering mobile recharges amounting up to Rs.500 and Rs.1000, in exchange for votes. “It is a more popular scheme for urban centres, but is catching up even in rural areas,” claimed Rajesh Lakhoni.

Nose rings, anklets

Apart from doling out sizeable quantities of gold, parties have also resorted to distributing nose studs and anklets. And what’s more, some of these anklets feature the face of the leader from the party.

Wall clocks

Over 695 wall clocks were seized by the Election Commission from an apartment complex in Karur on April 10th, according to The Hindu. When an inquiry was conducted by the police however, residents alleged that the wall clocks were lying in the flat for over a year.

Mortgages

Voters no longer need to worry about their mortgages; political parties are paying off their debts, in exchange for votes, of course. According to an Economic Times report, political parties give cash to pawn brokers and mortgage shops, where people can go and recover their mortgaged possession, in exchange for a slip given to them by party workers.

Apart from the many items discussed, a couple of other unusual goodies seized by the Election Commission include T-shirts, solar lamps, gas stoves, school bags, palm oil, cell phones, lottery tickets, cricket bats, detonators, cookers, cigarettes and  gelatin sticks.

Along with these incentives, parties have also allegedly employed milkmen to slip in cash along with milk packets when they are out on their early-morning trail, said the Chief Electoral Officer to the News Minute.

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