Pressure cookers, digital watches... ample freebies in poll-bound Karnataka
Dinner sets, pressure cookers, digital watches and other gifts to woo voters, it looks like a free season ahead of the Karnataka assembly elections.
Some politicians have been found promoting pilgrimage for their constituents, with Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh, Manjunatha Swami Temple in Dharmasthala in Karnataka and Shirdi in Maharashtra being the most popular destinations.
A video of digital watches with a photo of a prominent politician from Bagalkote district went viral recently. Dinner kits were distributed to voters in Bengaluru constituencies, a resident told PTI.
I received a phone call in the afternoon that I was coming to pick up the food package. At first, I thought it was a prank, but when I went there to check, they were actually giving out dinner, said the woman, who requested anonymity.
In another constituency, a former minister allegedly paid the life insurance premiums of some voters.
Truckloads of pressure cookers and cookers were also confiscated recently.
Karnataka Chief Electoral Officer Manoj Kumar Meena, reacting to these incidents, said that the model code of conduct will come into effect from the day the election dates are announced, but such practices can be curbed even before the election process begins.
Model rules of ethics come into effect on election day. Until then (we are considering what we can do based on recent media reports that political parties and elected representatives are doing different things to get votes), Meena told PTI.
He said that he has summoned all the enforcement officers of both the state and central governments and directed them to act against them as per existing rules and regulations.
We asked them why you don't use these laws and see that nothing can be done against these people. The Commercial Tax Department can conduct raids in slums and investigate whether the GST Act has been violated there or not, he added.
According to him, the Commercial Tax Department raided two warehouses in Chikkamagaluru and Tumakuru and found that the goods in question were not allowed. As a result, fines were imposed on warehouse owners.
There are many ways that these departments can enforce their laws and somehow help us carry out these activities, he added. BJP-ruled Karnataka will hold assembly elections by May.