India state election candidate promises free iPhones and trips to the moon

Thulam Saravanan, 33, shared his election manifesto to Facebook.
Thulam Saravanan, 33, shared his election manifesto to Facebook. Photo credit: Getty Images / Twitter - @RKRadhakrishn

A state election candidate in India is promising free trips to the moon, free cars, free iPhones, free helicopters and robots to do household chores for voters. 

Thulam Saravanan, 33, is after a seat in the legislative assembly in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Reports VICE. 

His election manifesto, filled with wildly unrealistic commitments, has gone viral after he shared it to Facebook early last week.

The former journalist has insisted those who vote for him will receive a plethora of free items including, rockets, jewellery, and houses - his campaign symbol is also a rubbish bin with the caption "the symbol of honesty is the dustbin". 

As his campaign gains traction voters have begun to question his legitimacy. 

"This has to be a parody I’m guessing," one Twitter user wrote in response to his manifesto, "but on a serious note the actual freebies promised made me laugh as well."

"Sir is this true or sarcasm?" asked another. 

Speaking to VICE Saravanan explained he built his campaign based on wild promises to call out other political parties in India who often use meals, entertainment, and events as a form of bribery for voters.

In 2019, Bloomberg reported India as having the world's most expensive election, political parties spending US$8.7 billion splurging on advertising and bribes to lure voters in. India's record was only broken by the 2020 US election which cost almost US$14 billion. 

Saravanan said bribery and corruption were "rampant" in Indian elections and it's an issue he wants to bring attention to - adding he chose the rubbish bin logo as a way to say "clean it up." 

He confirmed his campaign was, in fact, a joke but when asked whether he will actually stick to his promises he said: "if I win, we will meet all the basic facilities of the people of my constituency."