Notes for votes: Unsuccessful candidates in civic polls in T’malai demand electorate to return money

In what could well become a trend post elections, candidates who contested the post of village panchayat president in at least two villages near here have demanded return of money given to voters since they were defeated in the rural local body polls.
Notes for votes: Unsuccessful candidates in civic polls in T’malai demand electorate to return money
Illustration: Varghese Kallada

Tiruvannamalai

The first incident was reported from Puliyampatti panchayat in Chengam panchayat union in Tiruvannamalai district where Poosai lost when he contested for the post of village panchayat president. Standing in the market place in the village, he loudly demanded return of the money he had given to voters as they had voted for his rival, the eventual  winner. Not content with demanding return of cash, he also threw bottles and bricks around in a fit of anger sending the shoppers  scurrying for cover.
Annoyed at this, residents demanding protection blocked the Chengam – Ilankunni road. Mel-Chengam police rushed to the spot and pulled up Poosai stating that he would face stringent punishment if he continued to disturb the peace, following which a chastened Poosai left the spot and the residents dispersed peacefully.
In another incident that occurred at Aniyalai village in Kalasapakkam panchayat union, where three candidates contested for the post of village panchayat president, voters were given Rs.500, Rs. 600 and Rs.600 plus a nose stud, respectively.
As the candidate who offered  Rs.500 won, the candidate who gave away Rs.600 went to individual voter’s houses with his wife demanding the return of the money given to them.
Kalasapakakam BDO office sources said that Vasantha Kumar had emerged winner while AP Settu who ended up on the losing side, demanded return of the money.  Parandaman another loser, however, asked locals to keep the ‘gift’ and support him in the next election.
Seeking anonymity,  officials said that due to Settu’s reputation in the locality, voters did not spend the money knowing fully well he would lose and demand return of the cash.

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