Chennai, Feb 21( BPNS)
With only five days left for the Erode East by-election, political parties are leaving no stone unturned to clinch a prestigious victory with both the AIADMK-led front and the DMK-led front fighting a tough battle on the ground.
There are widespread complaints of gifts including silver anklets, pressure cookers, silk sarees, and cash being distributed by both fronts, the Election Commission has deployed three flying squads in the constituency to curb this.
Sources in the AIADMK told BPNS that the DMK and Congress have been indulging in widespread corrupt practices to woo the electorate and supplying Rs 500 and silk sarees to voters. If the voters are refusing the silk sarees, an additional Rs 1000 is given. Chicken biriyani is an added bonus being distributed by the DMK and Congress combine, AIADMK alleges.
Not to be left behind, the DMK sources pointed out AIADMK cadres distributing silver anklets and pressure cookers. A senior leader of the DMK while speaking to BPNS said, “ The local leaders of the AIADMK are behind this distribution of gifts to the voters. Tokens for these gifts are distributed and on showing these tokens, silver anklets and pressure cookers are distributed to the voters from godowns.”
The Election commission has received several complaints of political parties indulging in wooing the voters by providing them with gifts. The Election commission has constituted three flying squads to crack down on the distribution of gifts and to curb the menace of winning elections by bribing voters.
An officer who is part of the flying squad while speaking to BPNS said ,” We have reached the constituency and is cracking down on those indulging in bribing the voters. We will take stringent measures against any one seen distributing gifts to voters in a bid to influence them. This is not the right practice.
The Erode East by-election is on February 27 and the counting of votes is on March 2. The by-polls were necessitated following the passing away of the sitting legislator, E. Thirumahan Everaa of the Congress party on January 4. In the by-elections, the late Thirumahan Everaa’s father and senior Congress leader, EVKS Elangovan are fielded by the DMK while the AIADMK candidate is K.S. Thenarasu, former legislator. The NTK and the DMDK have also fielded candidates for the constituency.