Political parties have apparently been bountiful in their distribution of gifts to woo well-off voters before the Karnataka Legislative Council elections for 25 seats on 27 December.
The major parties are reportedly spending big bucks to gift Swiss watches and smartphones to voters, who are also members of local bodies, numbering between 700 and 9,500.
Many candidates for the legislative council elections have promised laptops, smartwatches, etc, which TOI says is common in the north Karnataka districts of Dharwad, Bagalkot and Vijayapura.
In Kolar, a senior leader noted that voters are already flashing Rado watches and have been given Rs 30,000 in cash by a major party.
In state capital Bengaluru, voters have been promised the iPhone 5, which costs around Rs 18,000 when bought in bulk, a party source told TOI.
In Kodagu, voters have been lured with the promise of 12-year-old Johnnie Walker Black Label Scotch.
When offered gold rings, some voters in Mysuru demanded platinum and receive it as well.
"We did not ask for the mobiles. They sent them through courier; we just accepted. Later, we got a call from the candidate to confirm whether we had received them," said a voter who had received such a "gift".
"Branded gadgets such as smartphones, watches and goggles come cheap when purchased in bulk online. Moreover, they can be delivered directly at the voters' doorstep without any fuss,'' a campaign manager of a Congress candidate told TOI.
"The bounteous offerings are aimed at drawing voters who are relatively well off. The days of offering saris, gold rings or household articles are gone. People assume it's cheap to accept such items," said a JD(S) leader.