26 April 2009

Money, Elections and Politics in India

Albert Einstein discovered the mass-energy equivalence in physics, given by the equation E=MC2.

We the people of India have discovered the election-money equivalence in politics, given by the equation E=CM2.
E = Elections
C = Caste
M = Money
Check out these horror stories:

Tamil Nadu:
On an average, ruling party candidates spend Rs 25-30 crore. Other candidates, a minimum of Rs 10 crore. The budget for urban constituencies is higher, with major candidates spending an average of Rs 50 crore. And if the candidate is an ex-minister, a high-profile candidate or the relative of a veteran political leader, then there is no limit.

In the recent Thirumangalam assembly by-election in Tamil Nadu the DMK is said to have spent around Rs 80 crore. So when the stakes are high, purses are wide open.

Andhra Pradesh:
"I am a Congress legislator from coastal Andhra Pradesh, having won for the first time in 2004. My constituency has around 1.5 lakh voters. My task began with identifying a local pointsman, a party sympathiser, in every village. He costs Rs 25,000 to Rs 50,000. In turn, he picks two youths for each booth, which on average has 1,000 voters. They have to be paid Rs 10,000 each."

"Reaching 14 lakh voters spread in 1,600 booths in 240 gram panchayats of eight Assembly segments in the LS constituency located in central Karnataka region was not an easy job. I spent Rs 17 crore last time."

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