Local body Poll Aspirants Focus On Money Power Again

Local body Poll Aspirants Focus On Money Power Again

Having distributed crores of rupees to the voters during the recently held elections, aspirants of local body elections are worried about how to bring more money to splurge on the voters now.  There is buzz that the local body polls would be conducted within a fortnight of the release of general election results.

Elections for the panchayat sarpanch, MPTC, ZPTC, municipalities and single windows would be held in a series. Those aspiring to contest for various posts in these polls are worried over the expenditure as they know that they cannot skip spending on the voters as the MP and MLA aspirants had competed in distributing money to the voters.

There is a strong opinion among the candidates as well as the voters that only the 'note for vote' formula would work in the elections. It is estimated that each candidate fighting the Assembly polls had spent anything between Rs 15-20 crore. Political observers say that all the candidates put together might have spent Rs. 500 crore in the state.

Each candidate had distributed Rs 1,000 - Rs 2,000 on each voter. Aspirants of the local body polls opine that they might need to spend anything between Rs 500-Rs 1,000 on every voter, which means every candidate should be ready with Rs 20 lakh-Rs 30 lakh.

According to the election commission rules, each candidate contesting the Assembly polls should not spend more than Rs 28 lakh but that had been violated in all constituencies. There are allegations that candidates of major political parties had spent crores of rupees. The results of the Assembly elections would be declared on May 23 and the party winning it would get repeated even now.

In 2014, the Telugu Desam Party won the Assembly elections and the same trend continued in the local body polls. Among the 1,003 panachayats, a majority of them were TDP sarpanches. Similarly, the Anantapur corporation and the five municipalities were also headed by the TDP leaders. Even the ZP chief post was clinched by the TDP.

The TDP flag fluttered even in the MPTC elections. Of the 894 MPTC posts, 600 were bagged by the TDP. The tenure of the village sarpanches has ended last August. At present, they are being run by the special officers. For the municipalities, the tenure would end this July. The tenure of the ZPTCs and the MPTCs would also expire the same month.

In this backdrop, candidates aspiring to contest for these posts are busy pooling up funds to spend for the upcoming polls. They are trying to hoard at least Rs. 10 to Rs. 15 lakh in cash for the polls. In case, the MLA candidate who contested the Assembly polls is close to those aspiring for the local body polls and he wins the polls, he is likely to bear some expenditure during the local body elections.

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