Hail the poll fest, you just got richer

You have heard about the infamous Tirumangalam formula where DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi’s son M K Alagiri allegedly gave C5,000 in cash to each voter during the by-elections there in 2009.

Published: 06th April 2017 02:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th April 2017 04:43 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

You have heard about the infamous Tirumangalam formula where DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi’s son M K Alagiri allegedly gave C5,000 in cash to each voter during the by-elections there in 2009. Here are some of the tricks crafty politicians use to stay under the EC radar. The list is indicative, not exhaustive, writes Ram M Sundaram

You have heard this before. Alcohol is the most common drink distributed to voters. Sometimes in soft drink bottles to avoid suspicion. Goes with free biriyani

Stainless steel utensils could also figure on the gift list for poor families

Why are politicians so interested in promoting women self-help groups? To penetrate the women vote bank. SHG office-bearers can serve as couriers since they can carry up to D50,000 cash, no questions asked. And they have better access to women in families

Local festivals are suddenly celebrated with great gusto. Gifts in the forms of lamps (kuthu vilaku) and gold jewellery are distributed when participants are on their way back home

Women in groups get invites to splurge on sarees at the local shopping mall. If you somehow can’t make it, the party’s women functionaries offer door delivery service

Demands of a particular community are addressed locally. Building a temple? New streetlights? Fixing old public utility buildings like libraries, school auditoriums? Repair of roads? Done. Done. Done. Money does not flow out of MLA local constituency development fund; candidates with deep pockets get generous and spend it from their kitty

Register with the party’s labour wing and the trade union affiliated to it could fill your pocket with cash

Bring home a brand new gas stove with LPG connection donated in exchange for votes

Securitymen rarely screen media cameramen, not even of a news channel affiliated to a political party. That makes them couriers of cash and gifts to voters

This is a common trick. You are offered free tokens to buy fuel at the nearest petrol outlets

More free tokens, this time to buy LED TVs, refrigerators, mixies or groceries from the neighbourhood electronics store. Parties don’t believe in tokenism

Two-wheelers or even cars could be up for grabs if you bend your backs and gather crowd for public meetings and have the clout to draw voters to the polling booths

You get a fountain pen as gift during this exam season. You open it and hey presto, notes rolled in its barrel emerge

Your milk vendor who delivers it in sachets each day at your doorstep could add Vitamin Money along with it. Ditto newspapers vendors

Open the main door of your house one morning and find cash held together using rubber band smiling out of the door clamp. Lucky day? You’ve just been bribed

It’s not just the boyfriend who does mobile phone top-up; party agents too do it for you. Why, they could even offer a new mobile phone for that special vote

Now, this is definitely a new thing. Interesting gifts reach your doorstep through the e-tailors Amazon and Flipkart. No cash on delivery. Enjoy

You get a kumkum box as gift. Open it and chances are you could find a few neatly folded notes

It’s time of the gods to get richer as donations pour in at places of worship

If an envelope flies into your house through the open window, fear not. It may not be a letter bomb. It could contain cash, party pamphlets and possibly voter slips

Want school bags, cricket kits or sports equipment? No problem. They were all given away in run up to the May 16 Assembly elections in TN


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