Desi daaru (country liquor), the election flavour in many villages, reeks of rule violation.
Now brewed in bulk because of tough conditions imposed on over-the-counter sale of the legal variety, the indigenous solution is the saviour of politicians who are out in the cold to seek votes.
For any hope of victory, entire villages must be drowned in liquor and quick, or so goes the thinking in some political quarters. But the Election Commission has corked the supply up. Farmers now prepare the desi solution: leader’s choice.
In many villages of Mansa district, on orders from political leaders who want to “satisfy” voters, the model code of conduct for the assembly elections has been tossed into the fire of furnaces and distilleries.
District election officers watch only the stocks coming out of shops. Their duty is to ensure that customers walk out with proper bills and at most two bottles. In Mansa alone, many illegal liquor shops were shut since the code became effective. The business of brewing liquor for the high-pressure poll season moved to villages.
Leaders of all major parties have given money to village sarpanches as the price of their silence and the cost of hiring villagers who will makes the liquor, sources in parties have confirmed. The liquor will be kept in houses, and the scene will repeat even in other districts.
At some villages of Mansa, the HT team spotted villagers preparing country liquor. Many barred them from taking photographs, and the others became aggressive.
“We have collected information on the matter,” said Pardeep Yadav, senior superintendent of police at Mansa. “Free and fair elections in the district are our objective.”