It is no secret that money is raining upon the voters of Tamil Nadu ahead of the 17th Lok Sabha elections on Thursday. While most local leaders have thrown caution to the winds and chosen the traditional door-to-door distribution method, there are still a few pockets in the state where ingenious methods are being adopted to skip confrontation with the police.
In Sivaganga district for instance, one opposition candidate has decided to park his money in a place that every family has to visit and spend money at – the local grocery store. So turns out, when residents go to their local grocer, they come back with fresh vegetables and some notes. And, this market is nowhere close to shutting despite 67 complaints reportedly being given to the Special Expenditure Observer.
Speaking about food, voters from South Chennai are now saying that food delivery agents are bringing them money to their doorstep, in a surprise move. With food delivery agents dashing across all nooks and corners of the city, their presence would hardly create any suspicion amongst officials conducting surveillance in the area.
But of course, not everybody in the state has it this easy. Some are forced to travel to actually get the cash for their vote. In a method perfected during the RK Nagar bye-polls, tokens are distributed by parties to residents. They are then given a time and location to collect the money from.
And finally, even as the scorching sun in the state burns down your patience and stamina, some voters in the state are actually hoping for power-cuts. Remember the 2009 Lok Sabha battle when some parts of Chennai saw unscheduled power cuts just before the election? Well later, it was said that it was the handiwork of political parties who decided darkness was their ally in money distribution.
This time too, voters across the state have complained of power cuts before the distribution of money in their localities. In Theni, Chennai, and Thoothukudi districts, several residents took to Twitter to say that money was brought by party leaders even as they waited for the electricity to return. Opposition parties and anti-corruption organisations are now predicting massive power outages across the state on Wednesday night to allow parties to pay the last instalment of cash to voters before the elections.
When questioned about it though, the State Election Commission promised to get the details of unscheduled power cuts from the Electricity board and scrutinise the allegation.