Cash for votes – the flow continues: Survey

As Varun Gandhi,Govinda and Mulayam Singh Yadav face EC notices for alleged distribution of cash to people prior to elections,a survey reveals that the practice has in fact grown over the years.

Written by Agencies | New Delhi | Published: March 26, 2009 4:43 pm

As BJP leader Varun Gandhi,actor-turned-politician Govinda and SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav face Election Commission notices for alleged distribution of cash to people prior to elections,a survey reveals that the practice has in fact grown over the years.

The recent survey by Delhi-based NGO,Centre for Media Studies (CMS) also says that the menace is not limited to any single belt but prevalent in all parts of the country,including the literate states.

Titled ‘Alarming trend of purchasing voters’,the report found that Karnataka topped the country in voters being bribed to cast their vote in favour of a particular political party for money.

It states,”The recent assembly elections in Karnataka in 2008 have set a new benchmark in purchasing votes.” Bribing menace was found to be lower in Left Front-ruled states of Kerala,West Bengal and Tripura (in May 2008).

Vote buying was rampant in highly literate states like Tamil Nadu,Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh,where more than 40 per cent of voters recieved money for their vote,the CMS study said.

According to CMS,one fourth of Rs 10000 crore expenditure on coming Lok Sabha polls is likely to be in the form of ‘unofficial money’.

Highest distribution of money is expected in states like Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka where nearly half of voters will be paid ‘cash-for-vote’ 24 hours before the polling day,it said.

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