It is raining freebies in an attempt to lure voters

Motorcycles for party workers, sarees, silver coins, alcohol and cash for the voters top the list.

Deccan Herald observed that tried and tested confidants of candidates zero in on the voters and lure them with money and material. A majority of them walk in with kumkum, mantrakshata (coloured rice) and flowers on the pretext of issuing voting slips. After a wide grin, one of them picks up conversation and while introducing the candidate, reads the pulse of the voter. The moment the voter sends the feelers, the volunteers open up and take oath while keeping the kumkum on the voter’s forehead and hand over a cover (money).

Savitramma (name changed) explained: “It is not easy to identify voters. A lot of homework goes into it while segregating the families in each area. While identifying them, we zero in on a set of people who regularly go to movies, temples, window-shopping, morning and evening walks, garment workers and others. Among them, we identify one or two smart women and through them we try and push our candidate's name.”

It's is not that all the voters are trapped in this fashion. In a constituency where there are 30,000 to 35,000 votes, a candidate aims at 2000-3000 votes, said Savitramma.
During the last few weeks, hundreds of two-wheelers were being rolled out of showrooms. Candidates find it easy to catch the youths by gifting motorcycle and make sure they are with them till the results are out.

Umpteen two-wheelers were seen moving with temporary registration boards while a few have managed to get it registered in their names.

With many hawk eyes from various parties moving around in the area, distributing materials saree, alcohol and other things is a daunting task. So the candidates have borrowed a ‘coupon technique’ from the transport department where coloured coupons are distributed in exchange for goods, money at selected outlets. Once they get the coupon and flash it at a wine shop or bar, they get their quota. The modus operandi is the same with regard to sarees, nose ring, anklets and kitchen appliances.

Demand for ID

A group of youths is on the move to scout and buy the voter IDs for a price. A valid voter ID fetches any where between Rs 750 and Rs 1200. A few of them, especially in Bangalore East and North, are regretting selling it early, as the prices have gone up during the last 12 hours. Even newspaper and milk distributors play a catalytic role and are in great demand.

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