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Indian politicians are bribing voters with free phones worth millions of dollars

Indian politicians are bribing voters with free phones worth millions of dollars

Indian politicians have historically never been shy about making big promises to the public about their plans for the country during election campaigns; they even offer freebies to entice people to vote for them. In recent years, gadgets have become the giveaway of choice, taking over from cash, livestock, gold, and subsidized pantry staples.

In the western state of Rajasthan, current chief minister Vasundhara Raje is stepping her game up with upcoming state elections. She intends to put 10 million smartphones into hands of the voters who vote for her, and their families

Here be gadgets

Not here exactly, but on our new hardware site Plugged.

The plan, which will see voters receive a grant of $14 (Rs. 1,000) to buy a phone, will cost the state Rs. 10 billion ($139.1 million). The state has tied up with a telecom provider to provide smartphones at a subsidized price.