Political parties and politicians in Tamil Nadu have shown that it is possible to make almost everyone in the State corrupt by offering money and other freebies, former Chief Election Commissioner of India N. Gopalaswami said on Sunday.
“Tamil Nadu is in a unique position. It is the only State in the country where they (politicians) have made voters corrupt. It has come to a situation where voters now bargain with parties as to how much (money) they will get to vote for a particular party,” Mr. Gopalaswami said addressing a voter awareness event organised by Bharat Vikas Parishad, Anna Nagar, and J-16 Civic Exnora on Sunday.
The former CEC added that politicians are willing to spend more money on elections as they believe they can “recoup this and earn back even more.
If they spend five lakh rupees, they believe they can easily make 50 lakh or five crore rupees once they come to power.”
“There is no fear of law anymore. Cases take ages to be completed. This could be due to a variety of reasons. But people now believe they can get away by doing anything,” he said.
He urged residents associations to create a list of all candidates filing nominations in their constituency and spread awareness among the residents. This would go a long way in helping reduce bad politicians from being voted to power.
“Improvements are happening slowly. We have come a long way since our first elections,” he said.
When a member of the audience asked him about the efficacy of the NOTA option, he said voters should make use of it if they find none of the candidates are good or worthy of being voted to power. “There will come a day when NOTA will become more powerful. The decision of the Supreme Court to allow the option was a step in the right direction,” he added.