And now, UPI-style bribe-giving in poll-bound Karnataka! What’s next? Amazon deliveries?

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BySouth First Desk

Published May 01, 2023 | 8:05 PM Updated May 01, 2023 | 8:05 PM

Karnataka Assembly election UPI bribes

Who doesn’t like making payment with one click and a scan? What UPI app do you have on your phone? GPay, PayTM, BHIM? They make your life convenient, don’t they? Well the same UPI apps it seems are making the life of Karnataka Election Commission officials hell because they are the new method being adopted to pay voter bribes in the state that will vote on 10 May.
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Political party leaders and workers, it seems, are using UPI apps for, well, “Direct Benefit Transfer” of bribes to voters in several constituencies in Karnataka.

The “flying squads” of the Election Commission can perhaps arrive at a place where money is being distributed to voters at lightening speeds, but how does one stop people from transferring money directly through UPI?

Election Commission India (ECI) officials have found that party workers aren’t just compiling numbers of voters and transferring money, but are also using innovative ways to go about bribing voters.

In several places, the officials have found a nexus between petrol pumps, milk booths, vegetable vendors, etc, where money transfer is taking place via UPI under the garb of business transactions, but with intent of wooing voters.

Such a glitch in the ECI’s pitch.

A political leader quipped that this is just the beginning of innovation.

“Next time, don’t be surprised if parties directly order items off online shopping sites and ensure doorstep delivery of bribes instead of handing them over in person to voters,” he said.

Maybe ECI should start preparing for that now.