As the world waits for the Great Indian Elections 2019, and if you read my previously published piece on Election Tourism, you’d agree that 2019 Elections are already making their way to breaking the record as the MOST EXPENSIVE ELECTIONS IN THE WORLD! If that sounds flabbergasting to you, hold that thought…..
Elections 2019 are estimated to have cost INR 500 billion (USD 7.5 billion, surpassing the cost of the 2016 American Congressional elections, which was $6.5 Billion probably making it the world’s costliest election….. no more! Well, most of it is being pumped into social media marketing and travel expenditure…. And who says “India Gareeb hai?” Maybe just 70 percent of the total population!!
But well, when social media doesn’t work through a country that spreads from the Himalayas in the north to the Indian Ocean in the south to the Kutch in the west to the Sunderbans in the East, you’ve got to do new things, and crazier things, and bigger things and louder things… things that could give the biggest marketing company a run for it’s money! Indian politicians could well qualify for their creative innovative expertise……
Chicken Dinner, Winner Winner!
When you want bigger pile of votes, you got to serve bigger plates of Chicken curry and Biryani! No kidding…. The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach…. the age old ‘nuskha’ always comes handy! Eh, politicians?
Goats For Votes
This one caught my interest…. Because when home appliances can be bartered with votes, why be left behind? So, put your home goods buying spree to action now! Why? The politicians are gifting you… Goats, Television sets, blenders (Pride, too!), liquor (see? I told you) and cash too! Aha, pocket money….. sorted!
The Plot Thickens!
Propping up dummy candidates who have the same names as popular figures so as to confuse the voting population? The plot thickens…. but with it, so do the brains! Though the government has taken steps like requiring the candidate’s photo to prevent the confusion, we certainly don’t want to vote for one Hema Malini, and get a fake one! But fake isn’t cheap here…. dummy candidates take the cost up by 120 billion in rupees.
Haathi, Ghoda & All That Jazz
With 2.62 billion rupees of the Indian budget, allotted by the Election Commission as travel expenditure, parties are going big…. in size, we meant! From getting elephants to carry electronic voting machines to inaccessible areas, boats to ferry in the Northeast region and helicopters and buses for travelling candidates and party workers to running polling stations 15000 feet up in the Himalayas and one exclusively for the ‘baba’ deep in the jungles of West India.
A campaign or a bunch of panicky candidates throwing money around to voters and vendors? Whatever be the verdict, I hope yeh public sab jaanti hai!