Voter Corruption in India

Here is a collection of news articles about Voter corruption in India.

The Hindu - May 2011 (Rs 500-5000/Vote in Tamil Nadu)

S. Kannan, a mid-level Congress party official in Madurai, told consulate staff that “the 5,000 rupees per voter in Thirumangalam changed everything,” noting that previous bribes to voters had topped out at 500 rupees.

For example, during visits to slums in Chennai and Hyderabad, they “learned that poor urban voters expect political parties to pay come election time.” They were told by a DMK political strategist that “slums are critical to a campaign because their population density and poverty allows them to be more ‘easily mobilized' by bribes.” Representatives of a non-governmental organisation working in a Chennai slum said that “the two main political parties in Tamil Nadu – the DMK and the AIADMK – regularly bribe voters.” They described a “sophisticated operation” to distribute cash: “Weeks before the elections agents of the parties come to the neighborhood with cash carried in rice sacks. They have copies of the voter lists and they distribute the money based on who is on the list.” The agents come in the middle of the night, “between two and four in the morning, when the Election Commission is asleep.”

IBN - Oct 2013

According to the modus operandi, the voter is given a slip with the number of a currency note which is to be deposited with an identified liquor shop owner to get alcohol bottles. These slips are being secretively distributed among voters by agents of some candidates. "With stakes running high, the candidates are trying to outdo each other in offering allurements. From the day of filing nominations, slum dwellers have been getting royal treatment in form of biryani, cash and liquor by political parties through their agents," an EC official said. "The parties manage to hoodwink the election commission every time with some innovative way or another," the official said.

Indian Express - April 2014 (Rs 1000-1500/vote in Punjab)

In was learnt that in some villages near Jalandhar, village panchyats have been asked to identify voters who can be won over by money or liquor.  “Some people have been asking about our requirements for the past few days and indicating that they can fulfil the requirements if we vote for the person they want,” said a woman of Sarihn village. Women in Lambra and Khmabra said that their husbands would get cash and liquor if they promised their vote to such agents. In Dakoha village, Rs 1000-1,500 is offered per vote. Asked how political leaders would know whether they voted as promised, the villagers said were asked to swear in the name of their children. An agent of a candidate in Mehatpur said that the real poll expense is for cash and liquor. Colonies of the poor and daily wagers are targeted by the leaders’ agents in Jalandhar city and rural areas, he added. In Jalandhar and Hoshiarpur, over Rs 15 crore worth of liquor has already been seized before this election.

Washington Post May 2014

In the previous two months, authorities had seized $45 million in suspected illegal campaign funds. They had discovered suspicious bundles of rupees in hearses and ambulances, in lunch boxes and in bags stashed on buses. So when a flashy red SUV pulled up, carrying four nervous young men, Singh was ready. He looked around the dashboard, in the trunk and then under the back seat. There he spotted two duffel bags that were filled with more than $33,000 in cash. The men claimed they were simply taking their own money to the bank, but Singh wasn’t buying it. “The car even had a sticker of a political party on its windshield,” he recounted.

Wall Street Journal May 9th 2014 (Rs 1000-2000/Vote)

Mr. Anachi, who supports a family of seven with his average monthly income of 5,000 rupees ($84) said during past elections he has seen alcohol being transported in water tankers for distribution to voters, and cash being hidden between the pages of morning newspapers. “This time, parties are coming door to door and giving between 1,000 to 2,000 rupees (up to $33) with a clear message to vote for their party,” he said. “We accept what they willingly give, but we vote for the party we like,” he added, smiling.