Tamil Nadu: Rs 200 off on 25 kg rice, trader bags voters’ heart in Erode

Saminathan had released a video announcing the discount would be offered to people who come to his store after voting.
Shop owner P Saminathan selling rice bags at a discounted price to voters in Erode
Shop owner P Saminathan selling rice bags at a discounted price to voters in Erode(Photo | Express)

ERODE: The success of an election process depends on the extent of voter participation. While the authorities do their best to increase voter turnout, the public also chip in to encourage others to exercise their franchise. P Saminathan (42), a rice trader based at Vettu Kattu Valasu in Erode, offered a `200 discount per bag of 25 kg rice, which originally costs `1,500, to customers who cast their votes for the Lok Sabha election on Friday.

The civic-minded businessman is also into social activities in the area. Explaining the rationale of offering a hefty discount on rice bags, Saminathan said, “I believe that 100% voter turnout will lead to good leadership. But that did not happen in the previous elections. The election commission is conducting various awareness campaigns emphasising on the goal of 100% voting. Inspired by such drives, I felt that I too should do something to raise polling and thus announced the discount.”

Saminathan had released a video announcing the discount would be offered to people who come to his store after voting. Around 90 customers came to buy rice after voting till 3 pm on Friday. “We expect the number to reach 250 by night,” he added.

Saminathan said his video got a good response and added that he did not not reduce the quality of the rice to give a discount. “I spoke to four rice mill owners who supply rice to me. I decided to waive the profit to reward the voters. In fact, I incur `40 loss per bag. We sell a 25 kg bag of rice for `1,500. Rice is also available at a lower price,” Saminathan explained.

He didn’t forget to mention that the discount is not a sales promotion gimmick but a small effort to make voters do their democratic duty without fail.

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