oppn parties New Mantra: Bribing Voters For Not Voting

News Snippets

  • Flipkart assures employees that there will be no job or salary cuts due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Although it was obvious, but the government still clarifies that there is no need to switch off appliances and only lights need to be switched off on April 5 at 9pm after confusion in the minds of some people
  • PM Modi and President Trump decide "to deploy full strength of (Indo-US) partnership" to fight against COVID-19
  • 17 states have reported 1023 cases of coronavirus linked to the Tablighi Jamaat, which translates to 30% of all positive cases in India
  • The government says people should not use alcohol-based hand sanitizers before lighting diyas or candles on April 5
  • The railways say there is no certainty yet when services will resume after the lockdown and a final decision will be taken in the next few days
  • As coronavirus cases multiply in Assam, six north-east states seal their borders with the state
  • Power System Operation Corporation Ltd. (POCOSO) putting all systems and protocols in place at war-footing to ensure there is no grid failure due to reduction in demand on April 5 at 9 pm
  • Power ministry scotches rumours that the power grid might fail due to the 9-minute blackout called by PM Modi on Sunday, April 5
  • Centre asks people to wear home-made masks if it is absolutely essential for them to step out of homes
  • Centre asks states to allow licensed street vendors to sell essential items
  • 8000 samples were tested across India on April 2, but the government said that testing will be need-based and will not be used as a confidence-boosting measure
  • Air India operating special flights to fly passengers stuck in India since the lockdown
  • For the first time in history, Darjeeling loses first flush tea due to suspension of garden work for Covid-19 outbreak
  • Supreme Court asks journalists to be responsible and publish only the official version of news after it was brought to its notice that migrant exodus started after the 'fake' news that the lockdown will be extended to three months
Total count stands ar 3082 as India records 16 Covid-19 deaths, the highest in a single day
oppn parties
New Mantra: Bribing Voters For Not Voting

By Linus Garg
First publised on 2018-05-10 21:14:35

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Linus tackles things head-on. He takes sides in his analysis and it fits excellently with our editorial policy. No 'maybe's' and 'allegedly' for him, only things in black and white.
Trust politicians and political managers to come up new and unique ways of trying to win elections, even if they border on the illegal. First, the ruling Trinamool Congress came up with a ‘novel’ way of capturing panchayats in West Bengal by unleashing its goons on the opposition parties to prevent its candidates from filing nominations. Bengalis are football lovers. There is a saying in Bengali: fanka mathey goal (meaning scoring a goal in an empty field). The TMC wanted to score goals by eliminating the opposing team(s) altogether.

Then, it has now been reported that parties are ‘buying’ voters in Karnataka – but with a difference. Usually, parties bribe voters to cast their votes in their favour. But in Karnataka, parties are paying voters to refrain from voting. In other words, voters are being asked to stay put at home on voting day and enjoy the pint of whiskey that is being given along with the money. A few Muslim voters have alleged that the BJP has approached them in this fashion. There is no law in India which says that a person has to compulsorily cast his vote. There is also no way for the Election Commission to know if the person has been bribed to refrain from voting. Since voters in particular localities will be targeted, the workers of the party can easily keep tabs on whether the bribed voters go to the booths and can even intimidate them into not going on strength of their ‘agreement’. It seems a foolproof way of winning elections by eliminating votes from persons inimical to the party’s ideology. It used to happen by force in the heydays of the Left Front in West Bengal when jeep-borne and gun-toting goons used to cordon off multi-storied apartments and posh localities to intimidate voters unlikely to vote for the Communists. But it is happening for the first time in Karnataka by bribing and in an organized manner.

It is a sad reflection of the times that ideology, performance or personalities no longer count or even if they do, are not enough to win votes. Parties have to indulge in all kinds of underhand – hence illegal – activities that are driven by money and muscle power. There is an urgent need to reform electoral laws to reduce the unholy nexus of money and muscle with the election process.