Not lagging behind political parties, independents contesting the April 13 assembly elections in Tamil Nadu too have come up with promise of freebies to woo the electorate but most of them borders on absurdity.
An independent contesting from Salem South and North constituencies has made the most unbelievable offer of a Nano car each to every voter if they elected him.
Mr. Shahjahan also promised a cell phone, a generator set to each family to relieve them from power cuts, free cable TV connection and pocket money of Rs.200 to every student.
When asked from where he would get the money to fulfil his promises, Mr. Shahjahan coolly said, “if the money that came from 2G spectrum scam is confiscated, more could be done.” Asked whether his promise amounted to a corrupt practice, an offence under the Representation of the People’s Act, the candidate, a lawyer by profession, said there was nothing wrong in it. “If the political parties can offer (freebies), why can’t I?” he countered.
Another independent candidate from Musiri, Kannaiyan, has promised free gold coins to all voters if elected, besides three cents of land to those who worked for him during the polls. He had also offered free cable TV connections to the voters in his constituency.
Congress candidate in Musiri M Rajasekaran had even moved the Madras High Court seeking a direction to the Election Commission to prevent Mr. Kannaiyan’s alleged corrupt practices.
The court disposed of the petition after Election Commission submitted it would take steps in accordance with law if the charges were true.
Vincent Paul, another independent from Manapparai, has offered gold chain of five sovereigns to all girls getting married.
Dubbing these promises as ‘hollow’, former Chennai Mayor and DMK activist Sa Ganesan said people would believe promises made in the manifestos of political parties, but not those by independents.
In a war of freebies, ruling DMK and AIADMK have promised a bonanza ranging from mixer, grinder to mineral water and free rice.