Bypolls: AP collector proposes sops for whistle-blowers

Kadapa district collector has come up with an action plan, involving women Self Help Groups (SHGs), to outsmart political parties that resort to unscrupulous practices in luring voters during elections ahead of bypolls in June.

Byelections to Rayachoty, Rajampeta and Kodur segments in the district will be held in 18 Assembly constituencies and one Lok Sabha seat across Andhra Pradesh on June 12.

"We have forwarded a proposal to the Chief Election Commission to announce financial rewards like certain relief in income tax for those who come forward and inform the authorities about the electoral malpractices like distributing money and liquor by political parties to lure voters," district collector Anil Kumar said.

The district administration is also mulling over to rope in women members of SHGs in curbing the immoral practices often dished out by the political parties in influencing the electorate.

Observing that conducting elections in free and fair manner has always been a major challenge for any district administration, Kumar said, "It is a mind game between the political parties who often try to grab every opportunity for their political gain and the administration which wanted to implement the law of the land (and) to safeguard democracy".

"In ensuing by-elections to assembly constituencies of Rayachoty, Rajampeta and Kodur, we want to enlighten women members of SHGs about the malpractices and related offences and the ways to curb them," he said.

There are 32,000 SHGs in the district and 9,000 in the three poll-bound segments having over one lakh members covering almost all villages.

Usually, women voters are aware about the distribution system of political parties in their respective villages, the collector said.

Kumar further said that he would involve the officials of the departments of revenue, police to name a few to 'motivate' women and prepare them to lead the campaign 'save democracy from illegal election practices'.

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