TN poll body on vigil over use of money in local body polls

The Tamil Nadu State Election Commission officials are vigilant over the possibility of use of money during the rural local body polls to be held in nine districts on October 6 and October 9. While the State Election Commission has agreed to appoint block-level monitoring officers during elections following a writ petition by the AIADMK and the intervention of Madras High Court, sources said that political parties are spending money in large quantities for ensuring victory in polls.

A senior party leader on condition of anonymity told IANS that money is being spent in large quantity with a panchayat president candidate spending around Rs 1 crore for the election. The talk is that around Rs 7,000 will be spent per voter.

The Election Commission has already communicated to the political parties that stringent action would be taken if they are using the method of buying votes and subverting the process of democracy.

In several village panchayat seats, money to the tune of Rs 50 lakh is being spent by each candidate and most of the money is spent on liquor as well as providing to those who are seen moving around with the candidate. A political party leader said, “Elections are like celebrations and political parties, as well as people, are happy at the arrival of elections. They can make merry at the cost of other people including free liquor, money, and food.”

With the block level monitoring officers of the election commission reaching the constituencies and police on vigil, there are possibilities of a reduction in the exchange of money and other freebies during polls in the nine districts of the state.