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Oct 12, 2009 at 09:00am IST

Campaigning ends, bribing of voters starts

Mumbai: Maharashtra will vote on October 13 to elect a new Assembly. Campaigning for the 288-seat Assembly ended on Sunday but political parties are still on a drive to woo voters.

In some cases candidates have been accused of desperately trying to bribe voters with liquor, money and food.

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On Sunday a truck toppled by the side of a village road in Kolhapur but what caught the attention was the cargo.

The truck was carrying liquor worth nearly Rs 3 lakh. Police sources say the liquor was probably being taken for distribution among voters. It is the third such incident in Kolhapur.

The Shiv Sena was quick to point fingers at its opponents.

"I woke up this morning to the stench of liquor. Now I know somebody is trying to swing the vote," claimed Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut.

But one of Shiv Sena own men, Rajendra Patni who is a candidate from Karanja constituency in Wasim district was caught by electoral officers distributing food among voters.

CNN-IBN's sister channel IBN Lokmat helped electoral officers nab three Nationalist Congress Party candidates distributing money among those who turned up to attend Sharad Pawar's rally in Ashti in Beed district.

In Mumbai Maharashtra Navnirman Sena workers vandalised a vehicle carrying Congress candidate Bharat Parekh, who is a close associate of Congress MP Sanjay Nirupam, alleging he was distributing money among voters in Kandivli.

Police, however, could not recover any evidence of cash being distributed.