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Don't settle for Rs 500. Ask for 5,000 a vote!

Last updated on: May 13, 2009 08:50 IST
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Don't settle for Rs 500. Ask for Rs 5,000. You negotiate with the vegetable-wallah and autorickshaw-wallah. Now negotiate with the politicians.

That is the status message on 27-year-old entrepreneur A Ramkumar's social networking profile. Ramkumar is from Madurai, where Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi's elder son M K Azhagiri contests his first-ever election.

The Dravida Munnetra Kazagham cadre -- in a bid to ensure the victory of their beloved 'elder brother' -- have pulled no punches and have been distributing Rs 500 per vote across the constituency.

"People should really ask for more. At once one of two things will happen. Those who are giving away money will pause, think and recalculate. When they realise that they would be unable to afford what the people are demanding they would stop. Or if they are still thick-skinned, at least the voter will get more for his valuable vote," says Ramkumar.

"In these days, what can you do for Rs 500?" he asks. He also happens to be one of those who practise what they preach. "I was talking on the phone when my mother called out one day last week, saying some people claiming to be from the DMK were there with five hundred rupee notes," he says. He asked her to politely send them away.

"When I came out, 10 minutes later, there was another guy standing with a ledger. He wanted to know if we really had declined the money and why. Just for the heck of it, I told him we were made to understand that we would get Rs 5,000 per vote and that we would not accept a mere Rs 500 per vote."

Ramkumar told them that there were four people with voting rights in the house and that he would be really glad to accept Rs 20,000 and vote for whoever he is told to.

"That guy was shocked and said nowhere were they giving Rs 5,000. He then shocked me when he changed his mind and said he could up the rate just for my family to Rs 2,000 or so! I had a tough time sending him away."

"If this is the case with the aspirant, the incumbent is someone who has been around for 10 years, but has not done anything for the city despite having a clean image."

"That is why I have decided to vote for someone new. After all, don't they also deserve a chance to become corrupt?"

Text: Krishnakumar P

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