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HindustanTimes Wed,01 Oct 2014

Hired youths attend rallies, road shows of candidates

Anshu Seth, Hindustan Times  LUDHIANA, April 29, 2014
First Published: 00:09 IST(29/4/2014) | Last Updated: 00:11 IST(29/4/2014)

Though the union and state governments over the years have failed fulfill the promises made towards employment for youth, the candidates of political parties in a mad race of "show of strength" have went ahead to create short-term employment by hiring the youth for `400-500 per day to participate in their campaigning.

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The young boys have attended the road shows and rallies of the candidates in urban as well as rural areas.

Some were even hired to put up posters, banners, stickers of the candidates in various nooks and corners of the city. 

In addition to being an unethical way of gathering crowd, the practice also amounts to duping the election commission where the "expenditure" is concerned.

Most shocking being the fact that even the students from distance learning centres of universities have been participating in the rallies of the candidates of leading political parties, and even the most talked about independent candidate contesting for Ludhiana Lok Sabha seat. 

HT reporter observed a group of young students from a distance learning education centre in Urban Estate, Ludhiana, for five days. These students used to get together at around 11.30am in a market square to move to a specific place where a candidate in fray for Lok Sabha elections had to address his rally.

It is learnt that a specific candidate had hired almost 2,000 youth to show his strength to his rivals.
On being asked, students replied that they were not concerned about politics, but what interests them most was the money that they were paid every day.

Satwinder Singh, a BCA student under a distance learning programme at a centre in Ludhiana, said, "I have attended almost 27 rallies of a candidate and was paid `450 per day, which was more than any amount of pocket money I have ever got in a month."

A veteran politician, when asked about the reason behind such practices, stated that it was just to create an aura in the electorate, which is referred to as "wave" in favour of the candidate in question.

The fact that this offer came as an opportunity for a large number of drug addicts became a matter of concern for some parents, as their sons who were undergoing de-addiction programmes discontinued their sessions to join the political gatherings in lieu of money.

Davinder, a domestic help working in Dugri, while sharing her woes, stated that her son was undergoing de-addiction at a centre, but his treatment got discontinued as he was lured to join the rallies and road shows of a candidate.

"We had been asked not to give him money till his treatment was over, but going for these rallies gave him an access to money, as a result he is back to drugs," lamented Davinder.

 

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