Till a few days ago, the two-leaves symbol of AIADMK was in the spotlight for the R K Nagar bypoll. But on Monday, the attention shifted to Pressure Cooker — the poll symbol of AIADMK’s rebel faction leader T T V Dinakaran — with the Election Commission seizing 500-odd pressure cookers from the constituency.
According to a senior EC official, they seized 500 pressure cookers from a lorry. “The invoice with the consignment was dubious. We are investigating the origin of the vehicle now,” said the official.
While multiple EC officials assert that the pressure cookers were meant to be distributed in homes as part of an innovative bribing method ahead of the bypoll, there are plenty of other traditional and innovative methods that are being tried by political parties besides the usual distribution of hard cash.
A senior official read out a check list being issued to officers on the ground to keep a watch on: mobile recharge, milk subscription, newspaper subscription, bank transfers through Self Help Groups, Paytm transfer, fuel tokens, small jewels, movie tickets and tokens for grocery shopping.
“This list has been prepared based on complaints we received from rival camps. So far we have seized cash worth Rs 5.5 lakh,” said the EC official.
The EC has also introduced a token system for vehicles by issuing some 4,000 licences for vehicles belonging to residents of the constituency. “Each and every vehicle that enters the constituency for political work needs to have a pass. We issued 160 passes on Tuesday. We have already seized 60 vehicles for violating this rule. Some 23 FIRs had been filed on various grounds,” the official added.