A rum idea, this | india | Hindustan Times
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A rum idea, this

Cutting across political lines, parties are keeping the voters in high spirits by distributing coupons that can later be exchanged for liquor, gold or groceries.

india Updated: Apr 21, 2009 22:16 IST

In Vijay ‘king of good times’ Mallya’s backyard, good times are indeed rolling, rather flowing. Cutting across political lines, parties are keeping the voters in high spirits by distributing coupons that can later be exchanged for liquor, gold or groceries. To avoid the ever-vigilant Election Commission (EC) and its sanctimonious Model Code of Conduct, the parties, ever innovative, are using nicknames for different brands. So it’s Raja for whiskey, and Kudare (horse) for rum. The distribution of liquor before elections is illegal but the crafty process by which our political system has got around EC strictures would put any retail chain to shame: each voter has to produce his voters’ ID card to get his cocktail coupon.

The EC will definitely not say cheers to parties flouting all norms. But those in Karnataka and elsewhere in the country are already getting that heady feeling. After all, it’s not always that politicians raise a toast to us, and a free one at that. Some may call it ‘inducements’, but who are we to quibble with words when it comes to a spot of gratis tipple?

In fact, the Indian voters have never had it so good. With more and more wealthy politicians entering the fray, we only hope that these so-called inducements will become qualitatively better. But the EC has nothing to fear: freebies don’t always translate into victories. We may throw the free libation down the hatch and then do a hatchet job on the giver. You see, we’re very good at bottling up our feelings.