Are the fake notes seized in Karnataka an indication of trading cash for votes in the state?

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BANGALORE: Luring the electorate with promises and trying to swing the mood of the public with high pitched religious and caste based volatile speeches is nothing new in Indian politics, and the same may be said about trading cash for votes, an unscrupulous but rampant practice which the Election Commission has a hard time keeping a check on.

 

Just a few days back, fake notes valued at about 10 lakh were seized by Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) from the East Coast Express train near Vishakahpatnam. One of two passengers who was caught with the notes belonged to Bangalore and said that they were going to exchange the fake notes during the assembly election in Karnataka. Again fake and duplicate notes amounting to Rs 7 crore were seized in Belagavi. Since the election dates have been announced, there have been more than 26 reports of cash seizures, in which officials have seized more than 4 crores. Election is just 3 weeks away, and the flying squads of the Election Commission are on high alert, ready to act at the slightest tip off.

Meanwhile, BJP’s chief ministerial candidate and ex-CM of Karnataka, B S Yedyurappa has announced that his son Vijayendra will not contest from Varuna against Siddaramaiah’s son Yatheendra. Party workers were disgruntled with the announcement at a convention in Mysore, and even threw chairs to express their displeasure. What was expected to be a dramatic fight between the prodigal sons has now fizzled out, and winning in Varuna will now be very easy for Yatheendra, with BJP likely to field Zilla Parishad member Sadananda against him. BJP has released the fourth list of candidates for the election, but its list still remains incomplete.

On the other hand, the Congress released the final list of candidates contesting the assembly polls on Sunday, and there were some surprises in it. N A Haris has been re-nominated from Shanthinagar constituency, and H S Chandramouli’s name has been removed from the list. Also, actor Ambareesh, Congress MLA from Mandya, has said that he does not want to contest the election and has requested Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee Chief Dr Parameshwar to five the Mandya ticket to Amravathi Chandrashekhar. The final decision about the issue is yet to be taken by the party high command.

Congress national president Rahul Gandhi is scheduled to arrive in Mangalore on April 27th when he will attend a meeting at Bantwal constituency, a district level conference of senior party leaders, address people, and then move to the temple town of Dharmasthala.

Heated exchange of words has gone beyond rallies and conventions in the present times, with all parties making use of social media platform to indulge in mud-slinging matches. Making use of technology, Congress, BJP as well as J D (S) have taken to internet with a flourish, nearly choking it with vicious content, the sole purpose of which seems to be to spread hatred about their rivals. Whether voters are gullible or not will be clear in the weeks to come.

Image Credits: Times of India

 

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