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POSTED BY Sundeep Dougal ON Mar 16, 2011 AT 09:49 IST ,  Edited At: Mar 16, 2011 09:49 IST

The Hindu revelations of India Cables through WikiLeaks continues. A revealing cable sent on May 13, 2009 to the State Department by Frederick J. Kaplan, Acting Principal Officer of the U.S. Consulate-General in Chennai, outed by the Hindu says:

Bribes from political parties to voters, in the form of cash, goods, or services, are a regular feature of elections in South India. Poor voters expect bribes from political candidates, and candidates find various ways to satisfy voter expectations. From paying to dig a community well to slipping cash into an envelope delivered inside the morning newspaper, politicians and their operatives admitted to violating election rules to influence voters. The money to pay the bribes comes from the proceeds of fundraising, which often crosses into political corruption. Although the precise impact of bribery on voter behavior is hard to measure, it no doubt swings at least some elections, especially the close races.

Mr Kaplan sent the cable after meeting Union home minister P. Chidambaram’s son, Karti Chidambaram, of the Congress, M. Patturajan, confidant of Union minister for chemicals and fertilizers M.K. Alagiri and former mayor of Madurai, and member of Parliament Assaduddin Owaisi of the Majlis-e-Ittenhadul Muslimeen. The cable details novel methods of cash distribution including

Can I get another morning paper?

The Thirumangalam campaign that Azhagiri ran for the DMK was notable for how the money was distributed, in addition to the amount distributed. Rather than using the traditional practice of handing cash to voters in the middle of the night, in Thirumangalam the DMK distributed money to every person on the voting roll in envelopes inserted in their morning newspapers. In addition to the money, the envelopes contained the DMK ""voting slip"" which instructed the recipient for whom they should vote. Annamalai pointed out that distributing the money with the newspapers forced everyone to receive the bribe. ""This way makes it impossible to refuse the money,"" Annamalai noted. Patturajan confirmed the newspaper distribution, but questioned its efficiency. He pointed out that giving bribes to every voter wasted money on committed anti-DMK voters, but conceded that it was an effective way to ensure the bribes reached every potential persuadable voter.

Read the full cable, and the story based on the cable here.

POSTED BY Sundeep Dougal ON Mar 16, 2011 AT 09:49 IST ,  Edited At: Mar 16, 2011 09:49 IST
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Daily Mail
Mar 21, 2011
10:49 AM

 everyone in TN is aware of how dubious the sivaganga constituency results was when chidambaram's opponent who led till the end was first declared winner, then after some calls, the results were overturned.   we the voters of tamilnadu have to reap what we sow in terms of electing these folks and parties repeatedly......god save tn

chennai, India
Mar 19, 2011
02:05 PM

Is there a hope that Wikileaks will bring out Vatican's plans for implementation through Sonia and the sexploits of Rahul Gandhi?

Bangalore, India
Mar 18, 2011
05:23 PM

 SS Nagaraj

PCs route to victory isn't that direct. It is said that it was through proper channel approach- Madam-MK- Madurai strong man-local EO+ enticing of the opponent through maamool, too big & tempting to say 'NO' that came with an added tag of not so subtle note- take it and forget or face  music.

Chennai, India
Mar 18, 2011
04:48 PM

The sauve Chidambaram,my foot one can say.He has no sence of shame to distribute money for votes through his son Karti.In the last Lok Sabha election he was trailing his AIADMK rival even at the fag end of last round of counting.Then he calls Navin Chawla,bribes his rival and is suddenly declared the winner.Such rogues are our star ministers.

Bangalore, India
Mar 17, 2011
03:26 PM

And then they complain about Bihar. Must be reminding the Americans of a once upon "american south".

Arun Maheshwari
Bangalore, India
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