Cutting across party lines, the district secretaries of rebel AMMK, ruling AIADMK and opposition DMK are fuming within their close contacts about the spiralling expenditures for them in mobilising crowd. The party election rallies are organised in something called a point system. A point is a place where the political leaders and star campaigners assemble to address the voters. The current cost required for a point is somewhere between Rs 6 lakh to Rs 10 lakh, confirmed multiple sources to DT Next.
“In some cases, point expenditure surpasses Rs 20 lakh if the crowd swells beyond 20,000 numbers. Any point requires at least 2,000 to 5,000 members from the local area and the public demand somewhere between Rs 300 to Rs 500 to arrive at the point location. In case of men, the expenditure is low and can be restricted to Rs 400 which includes a quarter liquor bottle and biriyani, but for women the cost is double. New sarees, lunch packets, pick and drop and then the cash in hand costs around Rs 600 to Rs 700,” revealed a AIADMK district secretary.
“The DMK which is eyeing power is equally spending in pockets like Trichy, Karur, south Chennai, Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi, Thanjavur and Nilgiris. The expenditure for the party has been consistently increasing. Transportation cost, room stay for organisers, fuel cost and expenditures for illuminated caricatures and streetlights had doubled in the past ten years,” said an aspiring DMK MLA candidate.
However, the tale of AMMK district secretaries is worse as they are forced to match the standards of AIADMK and DMK financially draining the organisers. There are district secretaries who are spending from 4 lakhs to 12 lakhs while hosting the one-day reception for the ousted AIADMK leader VK Sasikala from the Parapana Agraharam.
Posters, banners, newspaper advertisements, loudspeakers sets with dance parties, cultural troops and point expenditure has made the district secretaries poorer by few lakhs, rued an AMMK district secretary wishing not to be named.