April 4, 2019
Chennai : Tamil Nadu is ahead of the rest in the country when it comes to seizure of cash ahead of elections.
So far, the EC officials have managed to get a sum of Rs 127 crore cash, the highest in India, seized.
TN Chief Electoral Officer, Satyabrata Sahoo, said that this was much more than all previous elections.
Now what this means is that money power will play a big role in the elections. So far, only campaigning it taking place and money distribution will be done just a few days before the polling date on April 18.
Though the CEO said that the cash seizures indicated that it was more vigilant, detractors are quick to point out that the clear-cut indication was that the extent of cash for vote had only grown and what the commission has been able to catch was just a tip of the iceberg.
A DMK leader alleged that the ruling AIADMK, since it was on a losing wicket, they will resort of largescale money distribution.
In this light an interesting aside is that voters may prefer actual cash to promises to pay after their experience with rebel AIADMK leaderTTV Dhinakaran who won the RK Nagar assembly bye-elections relegating the DMK to a distant third. In fact, the DMK candidate even lost his deposit and the ruling AIADMK suffered a huge embarrassment that it could not retain the seat represented by former Chief Minister and party chief, J Jayalaithaa.
Since the culture of cash is so deep rooted that it will be difficult for any officer or an institution to set right completely, said a retired government servant in Chennai. Preferring to remain anonymous, the official said it was sad that the Thirumangalam formula had spread across the country. He said there were reports of allegations on misuse of money power by different players. This included almost all the political parties, he lamented.