Nation Politics 29 Oct 2021 Villagers protest ov ...

Villagers protest over less 'cash for vote', block roads in Huzurabad on poll eve

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | PULI SHARAT KUMAR
Published Oct 29, 2021, 2:43 am IST
Updated Oct 29, 2021, 7:13 am IST
The constituency is slated for polls on October 30 and the counting of votes and declaration of results will be on November 2
People arguing with the police and alleging that the poll bribe money was not distributed “equally” by a party in Gangaram village in Ellanthakunta mandal of Huzurabad constituency on Thursday. (DC)
 People arguing with the police and alleging that the poll bribe money was not distributed “equally” by a party in Gangaram village in Ellanthakunta mandal of Huzurabad constituency on Thursday. (DC)

Karimnagar: People of some villages staged road blockades while those in some other villages revolted against the local leaders over “unfair and unequal” distribution of money by political party representatives for votes in the Huzurabad assembly constituency.

The constituency is slated for polls on October 30 and the counting of votes and declaration of results will be on November 2.

 

After political parties wrapped up the election campaigns and boasted that the welfare and development activities or the mood against the TRS government would help one or the other to win votes. However, from the morning on Thursday, leaders started taking rounds of villages and distributing money to voters. They fixed the rate for each vote, but many got angry over others getting more money than what they got or about some leading pocketing a part of the money.

The villagers of the Gangaram of Veenavanka mandal staged a road blockade alleging that they did not receive money sent by a main political party in the election fray. The police rushed to the village and tried to explain to them that it would be illegal to seek money for their votes and action would be taken if they did not stop the agitation.

 

The villagers alleged that the local sarpanch who belonged to the ruling TRS party did not distribute the money given to him by the party as he believed that they were supporting the BJP candidate Etala Rajendar.

It was Etala’s resignation of the MLA seat after his resignation from the state cabinet and joining the BJP that led to the by-election. Since he changed party, he could not continue as MLA under the anti-defection act.

A video got circulated in social media in which a woman of the Bujunoor of Ellanthakunta mandal alleged that the local leaders did not give any money to the people though these leaders took the money from the party leadership for distribution to the voters. “These men pocketed the money,” she alleged.

 

Addressing finance minister Harish Rao, she said the people of her village were voting for the TRS party in the past elections and would continue to do so. But, since the money sent to four villages thereabouts was not distributed to the inhabitants, the TRS might lose around 400 to 500 votes this time, she averred.

“The money must either be distributed to the villagers or sent back to the party headquarters,” the woman demanded in the video and pleaded with minister Harish to take immediate action against the in-charges and local leaders for pocketing the party money.  

 

“Almost every voter was expecting money from the ruling TRS this time,” a villager said.

After receiving complaints that instead of distributing the money to the voters, some local leaders started pocketing it, the parties started dealing directly with the voters by deploying non-locals in certain areas for money distribution across the Huzurabad constituency.

The main political parties – TRS, BJP, Congress -- collected complete details about the families and voters in each and every village of five poll-bound mandals. Talks were that a main political party is reaching out to the elder member of each family and offering money at the rate of Rs 6,000 per vote.

 

Locals said the leaders of this party have informed them that the party would distribute around Rs 100 crore in the first phase by fixing a rate for each vote, depending on the village and number of votes present in the village.

The locals also said the leaders of this party got ready the covers to distribute money after collecting the details of the voters in each house. If there are four votes in a house, the cover would carry Rs 24,000, which will be handed over to the family elder after taking a promise from him to vote for the particular party.

 

In some areas, the leaders started distributing the money by collecting phone numbers of the family elder at each house and then sending the money through money payment apps.

In one village, villagers learned that the sarpanch has distributed the poll bribe money by taking away Rs 1,000 from each Rs 6,000 packet. They rushed in and questioned him about this deduction. The sarpanch, fearing action against him by the party leadership, returned the deducted sum, Rs 1,000, to the villagers.

In another village, when villagers heard that there was a deduction from each packet. For instance, if there were four members having vote in a house, the money received was for three only. The “distributor” leader pocketed the money of one voter each from such families.  The villagers  revolted against the local leaders and demanded that they should get the full amount.

 

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Location: India, Telangana, Karimnagar




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