Saris, clocks, get them free in Belagavi!

Belagavi: They were brought by the truckloads and distributed among eager people, happy to go home with their free gas stoves, wall clocks, sarees, silver coins, wristwatches and pressure cookers.

 Several voters, particularly women, have been seen carrying boxes with stoves on their heads  in broad daylight for the last few days.

Playing Santa Claus were hopeful candidates of various parties, who have been openly wooing voters,  in several constituencies of Belagavi with their gifts. So much so that in the weeks preceding the announcement of the May 12  assembly poll  by the Election Commission on Tuesday, crores were spent by would- be candidates.

Going by sources, more truckloads of stoves and household goods are expected to be secretly given to voters under the cover of darkness at  night in some parts of the constituency over the next few days too.  If they are to be believed,  Congress leaders have rented houses and flats in remote areas  exclusively to store the goodies for distribution among people.     

 The stoves were allegedly given to voters by supporters of Congress leader, Laxmi Hebbalkar with each of the boxes carrying her photograph. Chief Whip of the Congress in Legislative Assembly, Ashok Pattan is said to  have distributed wall clocks and saris to voters in Ramdurg until  late Monday night.   A video clip of the gifts being distributed by Mr Pattan in  his constituency has since gone viral on social media and become a hot weapon for the BJP to attack the Congress party with.    The clocks  loaded in a truck had photographs of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Mr Pattan pasted on them. Loads of sarees  were also transported in trucks to various parts of Ramdurg and distributed among women until late Monday night.

And until last week, the cookers packed in attractive boxes were distributed  in Bableshwar constituency from where Water Resources Minister and Lingayat strongman, M B Patil is contesting again.     BJP MLA, Sanjay Patil's  supporters reportedly distributed saris and silver coins among people.

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