14 May, 2021

A Token Of Deceit

Elections in Tamil Nadu always manage to have a touch of the bizarre. This time, it was a Rs 2,000 shopping token con job that left many voters fuming.

A Token Of Deceit

A new method of enticing voters seems to have caught on during this year’s assembly elections in Tamil Nadu. Call it an extension of or updated version of the state’s freebie culture in electoral politics. While many candidates allegedly distributed cash to voters, those not that well-off took a short cut to buy votes. Like Balamurugan, the AMMK candidate from Kumbakonam. A day before voting on April 6, his supporters distributed tokens on which the name and address of a leading grocery shop was printed along with the figure “2,000/-“. The voters were informed that they could exchange the tokens for Rs 2,000 worth of goods from the shop the day after polling.

But when the gullible voters approached the shop owner, he claimed total ignorance of any such arrangement with the candidate. Soon he even downed his shutters after pasting posters that declared “This shop is not responsible for the tokens given by any candidate”. Many voters went to the shop carrying large shopping bags. They had to return fuming at the con the candidate pulled...

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