Karnataka diary: 'Rice wars' herald polls

Last Updated: Thu, Apr 25, 2013 18:46 hrs

Money limits, freebies, 'rice wars' and PM Manmohan's lack of permission. Here is a round up of all the most eye-catching poll news in Karnataka

Some money, not enough money: 

While the election commission move on ceiling for election expenditure by each candidate is laudable, it is also dubbed as impractical by candidates. A simple arithmetic by candidates show that the ceiling of Rs 16 lakh will not be sufficient even for three days - let alone for 45 days campaign.

Every Assembly constituency has an average of 225 polling booths. Every candidate need to hire at lest 15-20 volunteers for every booth. Even if one candidate hires 10 volunteers for every booth, the candidate would have hired 2250 volunteers in entire constituency.

But the volunteers have to be looked after, even if they are not paid. The transportation will cost at least one liter of petrol, which will be around Rs 75. Besides, a breakfast, lunch and dinner will cost at least another Rs 225 per head. This puts per head expenditure to Rs 300 per day.

In that case, the candidate will end up spending Rs 6.75 lakh per day and within three days, the candidate will end up spending over 20.25 lakh, which is more than prescribed by the election commission.

The candidates have no option but to use other means of fudging the accounts, the candidates contend.

Rice Politics: 

In a bid to woo voters, the manifestos of all the political parties are filled with freebies. In the bargain, the rice prices in the state is all set to reach rock bottom for BPL card holders.

The Congress and BJP have got into the rice war, promising the poor people with rice for Rs one per kg. First, the promise came through BJP manifesto, which promised Rs one per kg and BJP families would be supplied with 25 kg rice per month.

On Thursday, the Congress came up with a promise of supplying 30 kg of rice per month for all BPL families, if voted to power, at Rs one per kg.

No venue for the PM?: 

The Congress has announced that Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh would address public gathering on April 29. However, the Congress is now worried about the venue, as they are unable to get one.

Usually, the political parties hold public functions at Nehru grounds in the heart of the city. When the Congress leaders approached district authorities, Hubli-Dharawad city police commissioner Mr Padmanayana cited security reasons. He pointed out that the ground was in a low lying area and surrounded by multi-storied buildings.

Then the Congress leaders approached Railways authorities approached Railways authorities for Railways grounds. But the Railways authorities refused to give the ground for political activities.

The Congress workers are frantically looking for a venue for the Prime Minister's function.

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