Tamil Nadu political parties are the forerunners in promising freebies -- ranging from rice to washing machines.
Taking this further is the 33-year-old journalist R.Saravanan, who as an independent candidate in the Madurai, South Assembly constituency, is literally promising the voters the moon apart from other promises.
Saravanan has promised a 100-day trip to the moon, building a rocket launch centre and space research centre in Madurai South.
His list of promises includes:
1. iPhone for all
2. Three-storey house with a swimming pool
3. Rs 1 crore free for each household per year deposited in the bank
4. A car worth Rs 20 lakh free
5. A small helicopter for each household free
6. Free robot for homemakers to do household work
7. 100 sovereign gold to women for their wedding
8. Rs 1 crore loan to the youth to start a business
9. Rs 10 lakh for disabled
10. Free boat to each house and construction of canals to ride it
11. Artificial ice mountain to keep the constituency cool
Given the poll promise trend in the state, the days may not be far away before the major political parties copy Saravanan's promises.
Already gold for marriages, cycles, mixer grinders, television sets, laptops and others were some of the poll promises that were fulfilled by the AIADMK and DMK governments in Tamil Nadu.
The AIADMK had also promised free mobile phones.
India is already planning a human space mission Gaganyaan and globally people are talking about space tourism.
Queried about his poll promises, Saravanan told IANS: "Political parties are promising many freebies during the election time and forget the people after they come to power. I want the people to realise this and vote for a good person rather than falling for freebies."
This is the first time Saravanan is contesting in an election.
"I found that well-educated journalists, lawyers and others do not know the procedure to contest in an election. This should be part of the school curriculum. The Election Commission should also advertise the procedure to contest in a poll so that independents can contest," Saravanan said.
According to him, if more independents contest in the polls then political parties will reform themselves and they will do good for the people to get elected.
"In this election 'My Vote is for Me," he said.
Saravanan chose the dustbin as his poll symbol to signify that there are a lot of corrupt people in public life, and they have to be consigned to the bin.