'My vote is not for sale' campaign in city

'My vote is not for sale' campaign in city

Anil Shetty is the president of an obscure political outfit called the Nav Bharat Democratic Party, but he is running a campaign usually taken up by citizens' groups.

And he has started the campaign on his doorstep. The campaign is a proclamation: 'My vote is not for sale'. A notice carrying the message has been put up on the gate of his home.

Shetty is perturbed about reports that politicians are stealthily distributing freebies such as cash, saris, pressure cookers, wristwatches and laptops to woo voters from across Karnataka and how people are accepting them. His message is just a reminder to passersby that they should not accept such gifts. "I am not doing anything new. Sometimes our society needs people who can remind it of what is already known," he said.

He continued: "People might think their families will benefit if they get Rs 5,000 in cash. Money certainly helps, but they should realise that we are losing our values. This campaign is just an appeal to voters to inspire them to be a part of democracy."

Shetty has launched the campaign online, too. A video on why is it important not to sell votes is doing the rounds on Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter.

Shetty does not intend to contest the upcoming Assembly elections but will launch a rally called 'Voter Solidarity March' from Town Hall to the Freedom Park on April 14 - coinciding with Ambedkar Jayanti - to encourage people to exercise their franchise. He will urge them not to sell their vote or opt for candidates with criminal backgrounds.

The Election Commission of India has allowed the rally, Shetty added.

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