Election time is business time. Probably the only time when our politicians ( those who are ruling us at the time, I understand, have bigger purses) open the purse strings full and don’t care about the out flow.
All the house maids in our area request for an early let off from their chores so that they can join the campaigning teams. During the fifteen days campaigning time they get to make anywhere between eight to ten thousands which is two or three times their monthly wages. They are paid Rs 500 per day and they are expected to follow the campaigning team leaders wherever they go.
They are with the teams all day. But are detached from the election process! I just tried to talk to one such recruit who escorted a patient to the clinic - taking some time off from campaigning.
“So, where are you going today?”
“Don’t know. Wherever they take us”
“Which party are you campaigning for?”
“Don’t know. I think it is ‘Jhadoo’. Must be Parrikar”
“Who is the candidate?”
“I think Ravi naik”
(For those new have no idea of Goa elections - ‘Parrikar’ refers to our Present defence minister, BJP. Jhadoo refers to AAP and Ravi Naik is the congress candidate)
The experienced ones get themselves enlisted directly at the campaign office and get the full five hundred. The more experienced ones become ‘recruiters’. They recruit those who are not aware of the election business, send them ‘campaigning’, collect Rs 500 on their behalf, pay the new recruits three or four hundred based on the gullibility of the recruit and pocket the rest. They get a handsome profit.
Taking advantage of the chaos involved and the inability of the ‘higher ups’ to make head counts or maintain records, the enterprising recruiters may recruit ten but give a list of fifteen, thereby getting themselves paid for non existing ‘volunteers’. So, they get profits both at the cost of higher ups and lower downs.
Sometimes the cash is not paid every day but whatever due, is paid after three or four days. Again since no proper records are maintained some of the recruits get paid for days on which they had not been present for campaigning! An unexpected bonus for recruits. But some of them are so honest and innocent, they go and return the money when they realise that they have been paid more!
This is the election business at the lowest level. The transactions and earnings get multiplied as one reaches higher levels in the pyramid of election business.
Time for everyone to dip into and help themselves from the candidate’s pocket! It is a sellers market. The candidates want the votes and are prepared to pay any premium. They also ignore the robbery.
The lucky ones who get elected, become our rulers, rob all those who robbed them during the elections and also those who didn’t and replenish the coffers. You don’t know when the need arises!
They say money should keep rolling! Yes, it does, gathers mass and waits to start rolling again after five years!