News Karnataka
Tuesday, January 31 2023
Tamil Nadu

‘DMK luring voters via e-wallets’, AIADMK & BJP file complaints

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Chennai: The AIADMK and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have complained that voters were being bribed through e-wallets and direct transfers through phone by the DMK.

In separate complaints on Monday February 14, the two parties have alleged that Rs 1,000 per head was being given to each voter in Tamil Nadu’s Namakkal district.

There also allegations that the resident associations have been roped in by paying lakhs of rupees to collect the telephone numbers and to campaign for the political parties concerned.

However, most of the money transfer is now taking place through UPI transactions as the election commission and the police have enforced strict measures to crack down on people carrying money. The Tamil Nadu State Election Commission (TNSEC) has already seized Rs 11.75 lakh in cash from Chennai and gifts equivalent to Rs 1 crore from some political parties which were meant for distribution among the voters.

M. Soundarajan, an anti-corruption crusader from Teynampet, Chennai while speaking to IANS said, “The elections in Tamil Nadu have always been money-spinner and there is no change in it even now. The political parties have become more modern and have now started transferring money through UPI systems collecting the phone numbers of the voters from resident associations.”

Another interesting move by the political parties is to send gift coupons to voters through couriers after collecting their residential addresses. The gift coupons mostly of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 value could be redeemed at the nearby malls and shopping centres.

The ruling front, according to Soundararajan, has resorted to power cuts at specific times in Chennai to make the party cadres reach homes and distribute gifts. The gifts are expensive and include mixers, grinders, and clothes. Bath towels and lanterns are attractions and in most of the houses, the cadres have distributed them.

DMK senior leader and state Water Resources Minister S. Duraimurugan denied the allegations. While speaking to IANS, he said, “DMK is a political party that is rooted in Dravidian ideology and on Social equality . We fight elections putting across our ideology to the people and has never engaged in bribing people for votes. We sat in the opposition for ten years in Tamil Nadu since 2011 and have bounced back in 2021. Likewise we never indulge in bribing or giving something to people in return for votes. I request the TN State election commission to strongly take action against anyone who is indulging in such matters during elections. It’s never the DMK.”

The Tamil Nadu State Election commission said that it has already constituted 45 flying squads to catch the offenders who are trying to lure voters by bribing them.

However, political parties including Makkal Needhi Maiam and Ngan Tamilar Kazhagam (NTK) have put the blame squarely on the State Election Commission.

M. Senthil of MNM, while speaking to IANS, said, “The state election commission has not conducted proper awareness on the elections and they should have shared the information about clean elections to the people. Clean elections mean elections in which bribe is not given nor accepted. Unless such a situation comes the political parties continue to attract the voters using such tactics side-stepping the essence of democracy.”

The elections are to take place on February 19.

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