New Delhi, March 7: During the Assam assembly elections 2016, Robert Rabha, a resident of Rani, a village around 35 kms from Dispur--the state capital--told this writer that he took money from both the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party in exchange for his precious 'vote'.
"This is how it works. The leaders and their party workers come to our village just days ahead of polling and offer everyone in the village money and alcohol. I take money and freebies from all parties, but vote for the candidate whom I think is best suited for my village."
Robert revealed that during the last assembly elections in
Assam, most parties offered Rs 500 per vote in his village. "At
times people sell their votes for Rs 50 also."
From Assam to Uttar Pradesh, political parties, especially in rural and semi-urban areas directly lure voters by offering them cash to vote for their party candidates. That is why during every election, we hear about huge amount of unaccounted cash being confiscated by the police and officials of the Election Commission.
The distribution of money among the voters by political parties happen in such a blatant manner that this time even high-profile politician like UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar in their election rallies had asked people to take 'bribe', but vote for their respective parties.
In all these above three instances, the EC took prompt action by issuing notices to the politicians to clarify on their statements and censured them from making similar remarks in the future. Asking voters to take 'money' from political parties is a clear violation of model code of conduct. But as we have repeatedly witnessed how 'bribe' money flows unabatedly during elections and except for the officials of the EC, everyone has accepted the fact as a reality.