Vijayawada: The Andhra Pradesh municipal election is turning out to be a money guzzler. Parties and candidates contesting in the municipal corporation and municipality elections in the state are spending huge amounts on their campaigns. In the absence of close scrutiny from returning officers, the corporator candidates are pouring money and liquor to lure voters and win the elections.
According to the rules, a candidate contesting the municipality corporation election can spend only Rs. 2 lakhs on their campaign. However, many candidates have set up offices in the wards by spending more than Rs. 6 lakhs. In some areas in the state, the candidates have assured to pay Rs. 1,000-1,500 to each voter for their vote.
The elections for 12 municipal corporations and 75 municipalities in Andhra Pradesh will be held on 10 March.
The State Election Commission (SEC) has been receiving complaints regarding violation of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC), including rampant misuse of money and distribution of liquor during the election campaign for the Urban Local Bodies in the state.
The SEC has directed the collectors to assist the MCC teams. The SEC is focusing on four corporations - GVMC (Vizag), VMC (Vijayawada), GMC (Guntur), and TMC (Tirupati) - from where the bulk of complaints are being received. It is holding a teleconference on 7 March with the concerned officials.
The SEC has also requested the Income Tax department and the Enforcement Directorate to focus on cases relating to MCC violations.