PUDUCHERRY: With cash-for-votes emerging as a major issue in elections - NGO 5th Pillar, on behalf of the People’s Movement, has decided to fight against it in Kamaraj Nagar by-elections - by shaming houses that accept bribes by pasting stickers marked with ‘Bribe house’ on the gate or door of such houses.
Instead of targetting those who offer bribes, it will also focus on those who receive bribes, as recipients are an equal partner in crime, said Sakthivel Roudram of the organisation.
In a bid to safeguard democracy in the Kamaraj Nagar assembly by-election and to create awareness among the voters against this form of bribe, the movement has started a campaign to paste a sticker, Lanjam pettra veedu (House which accepted bribe), on the wall of the house which accepts a bribe for their vote. This will help the people understand that accepting bribe for vote is a serious crime and will create awareness among the younger generation. Rounram urged the voters to write on the door of their houses that they will not accept bribe for their votes. Thereafter, Fifth pillar will embark upon identifying the houses that have received cash for votes. Around 25 volunteers will monitor and identify the houses that accepted cash for votes under the 32 odd polling stations in Kamaraj Nagar.
Over the years, cash-for-votes has become a major challenge for the election authorities in Puducherry. Though flying squads are deployed in adequate numbers, they have not succeeded in preventing this crime.“On receipt of any information on cash distribution, we act firmly,” said an Election officer.
Though in states like Tamil Nadu, elections in the past have been countermanded on account of it, by and large, information is hard to come by and those giving cash for votes have gone scot-free. Many a time, most people readily accept the cash provided by representatives of candidates of political parties and do not disclose it till the elections are over.
The political parties adopt newer strategies in cash distribution and it is difficult to detect the persons who distribute the cash, said an official. Major political parties have been known to have one representative, who is a resident of the area, to distribute the cash to a few houses on a particular street, as his movement cannot be suspected.
Lanjam pettra veedu
According to Sakthivel Roudram of 5th Pillar, an NGO, the movement has started a campaign to paste a sticker, Lanjam pettra veedu (House which accepted bribe), on the wall of the house which accepts a bribe for their vote