Cash, liquor and freebies flow freely during elections in Tamil Nadu
Shivani Chaturvedi | January 29, 2015
Prestigious Srirangam constituency of Tamil Nadu, earlier held by AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa, will go to assembly by-election on February 13. Tamil Nadu is one of the states where it is a foregone conclusion that the ruling party will get the seat.
Chennai-based observers say, “AIADMK cannot be defeated at this stage. It is a prestige issue for the party and they won’t allow it to slip out of their hands. It looks like ruling AIADMK is going to win the Srirangam seat.” Insiders based in Srirangam say soon money distribution will take place in the constituency to woo voters. Cash, liquor and freebies flow like water during elections in Tamil Nadu. Resources deployed by political parties, may it be ruling or the opposition party, are very high. Observers say such is the condition that the entire state machinery is used to ensure that the ruling party makes through the election.
However, it is not a new trend in Tamil Nadu. The practice started during the Thirumangalam by-election in Madurai district in January 2009. In Thirumangalam, DMK party workers resorted to ingenious ways to distribute bribe money, deceiving security officials and workers of rival political parties. So much so to make the “Thirumangalam formula” famous.
Even the election commission always faces a serious challenge to handle the menace in Tamil Nadu by-polls. It is even unable to uphold the model code of conduct.
This by-election has been necessitated by the disqualification of AIADMK leader J Jayalalithaa following her conviction in a disproportionate assets case.
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