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Party-level squads of AIADMK, DMK functionaries nab rivals giving out cash in state
Cutting across party lines, the AIADMK and the DMK functionaries have lodged complaints and counter complaints with the Election Commission officials alleging sporadic distribution of cash for voters. The situation was such that aspiring MLA candidates of major political parties positioned the ward level squads comprising cadre to stop the distribution of cash for votes by political parties.
There were cases of DMK men catching AIADMK – BJP workers trying to distribute cash for voters in the Harbour Assembly constituency. The DMK workers who caught a BJP supporter for allegedly inducing the voters also made sure that the house of the BJP worker was raided in the Harbour constituency.
“We have zeroed in on a few AIADMK and BJP workers trying to induce voters and we caught a person red-handed with cash to induce voters. The police and election squads responded late so we detained the offender until the police came and we have formed our squads to curtail cash for votes,” said former DMK ward secretary Purushoth of Choolai, who was felicitated by the local DMK workers for cracking two incidents of cash for votes by the rival political parties.
Similarly, the DMK men trying to induce voters were also chased by the AIADMK workers in parts of Avadi and Villupuram.
“Almost all the major political party candidates seem to have started distributing cash for votes and this is an alarming trend threatening the fundamentals of elections and democracy,” said political commentator R Mani. Quoting former election commissioner Gopalswami’s reply on cash for votes, Mani recalled Gopalswami’s explanation of the connection between the black money and the inducement to voters. Politicians have black money and they will distribute it during elections, until the black money is eradicated cash for votes will continue during the polls and purely expecting the Election Commission to control the black money on the eleventh hour ahead of polls is not practically feasible, Mani added.
Chief electoral officer Satyabrata Sahoo told reporters that the cash for vote complaints were being addressed and FIRs registered.