In an attempt to encourage everyone to vote, a meat seller in Chennai has promised Rs 50 discount for people who show proof that they voted – the indelible ink mark on the finger. They can avail this discount on the voting day.
Murali Babu, who owns Rajas Chicken and Mutton Stallm, told The Times of India that voting is a duty and a right and that everyone should vote.
"I saw actors in short video clips encouraging people to vote, which is an initiative by the Election Commission of India. This was the trigger for me to do something for the nation by sacrificing my profit for one day. If I can entice a few dozens of people to cast their votes, I will be happy," Murali said.
Murali's neighbour Manohar, who runs a pharmacy, commended the meat vendor for his efforts to encourage people to go and cast their vote. He said, "Politicians are bribing people to vote for their political party. The meat vendor is not bribing voters. Instead, he has taken an initiative to ensure all people cast their votes to justify democracy."
This is not the only place in Chennai to provide offers if they showed proof that they voted. The city's Chennai Hotels Association has announced that those with an inked finger and voter IDs can avail a 10 per cent discount on food and beverages.
"The official wanted us to have a rubber stamp on food bills to publicise 100 per cent voting. Instead, we suggested we will provide 10 per cent discount to those who vote on polling day," The Association's president M Venkadasubbu told TOI. He said that he came up with the idea when he was talking to the district election officer.
All 39 Lok Sabha constituencies in Tamil Nadu are set to go into polls on April 18. This will be the first election that DMK and AIADMK will contest after the death of M Karunanidhi and J Jayalalithaa.