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Updated: April 24, 2014 21:49 IST

‘Even US not immune to note-for-vote syndrome’

G. V. R. Subba Rao
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Subhashini Atluri
Subhashini Atluri

Political parties pay 50 dollars to voters if the latter voted for their candidates, says Subhashini Atluri, India’s representative as Election Observer for the 44th U.S. presidential polls.

‘Note-for-vote’, which has become a phenomenon in the elections in India, has its presence in developed nations like the US as well and the political parties there also entice the voters with currency, Subhashini Atluri, who was India’s representative as Election Observer for the 44th U.S. presidential polls, has said.

“Political parties pay 50 dollars to the voters if he or she voted for them in the US,” she said. Ms. Subhashini who is working as the CEO of the Sujana Foundation, was in Vijayawada on Thursday.

Speaking to The Hindu, she said it was a startling to see that ‘note-for-vote’ was prevalent in the US also. “It’s altogether a different system out there. The voter gets a slip with details such as candidates to whom he has voted. The voters produce the slip to avail cash offered by the political parties. It was around $ 50 per vote when I visited there,” she recalled.

One good aspect in the US is that the people vote on local problems. The contestants or elected representatives would have a fair idea what the people were looking for, and what were the major problems, she explained.

‘No ethical value’

“The pity is that in India, voters take money from every political party. There is no ethical value. But, without realizing these inherent flaws, we often curse our democracy. The corruption is firmly rooted and unless there is a change in mindset of people, we cannot make the best of the democracy,” she observed.

Ms. Subhashini contested from the Khairtabad Assembly constituency in Hyderabad on the Lok Satta ticket in 2009 polls but lost. She has plans to re-enter the politics in the next elections.

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