By-elections in Chennai’s RK Nagar constituency – to be held on Wednesday – have been cancelled by the Election Commission citing the possibility of cash-for-votes used by politicians. EC has come down heavily on the political parties accusing them of taking India backwards by using such means. In fact it has directed parties to use only digital transactions-for-votes.
Income tax raids in Chennai found stashes of unaccounted money to be distributed among voters. In this age of digitization, it’s a pity that the politicians are not using digital mediums for such transactions.
Our Faking News reporter spoke to the EC spokesperson in Chennai and he had this to say, “Money is used in all parts of India to buy votes. But that is not a big issue. The issue really is that do we want to take our country forward or not. Since last 3-4 months the government is spreading awareness about digital money, but nothing has changed. The biggest use of cash is India is for voter incentives and if this cannot be digitized then God help the other services where digitization is required.”
Parties in Chennai have assured EC to at least do some percentage of the transactions in digital as doing it 100 % would be impossible at such a short notice. Party volunteers were seen installing various digital payment apps on the smartphones of the voters and the voters not having smartphones will be paid via cheque or demand drafts. There is a huge boom in the number of apps installed and digital companies are proving cashback incentives for voters to use their applications.
Voters are a bit confused because they are yet to use such mediums. The data of every transaction made will have to be submitted to the EC and EC will verify if voters got the due share. We should congratulate the Election Commission for putting its foot down and showing the political parties who the boss is.