The new excise policy launched by the state government in the year 2002 has weakened the liquor syndicate in the Purvanchal region, but irrepressible liquor barons have not shied away from jumping in the election fray.
The liquor barons are contesting election from Deoria, Barhaj Vidhan Sabha seat (Deoria district), Paniyara (Maharajganj district), Pipraich and Shahjanwa Vidhan Sabha seat in Gorakhpur district.
The liquor baron Badri Prasad Jaiswal is contesting election on Samajwadi Party ticket from Paniyara Vidhan Sabha seat. Pitted against him are the former Minister Fateh Bahdaur Singh who is contesting election on BSP ticket, Sameer Singh of BJP and Congress candidate Anand Yadav.
The supporters of Jaiswal said he is working in the constituency for last ten years and had launched several welfare programmes. With money and manpower no problem for Badri he is adopting all tactics to woo the voters. The folk artists and bar girls have been hired by him to entertain the villagers.
Badri tells the people that "God has given me enough money and now I wish to devout my life in the service of the people". The liquor merchants from neighbouring districts are canvassing in Paniyara in support of Badri.
Jitendra Kumar Jaiswal alias Pappu Bhaiya son of Badri is contesting election from neighbouring Pipraich Vidhan Sabha seat as an independent candidate. Pappu drew attention of the rivals for distributing freebees among the voters. Candidates of rival political parties have lodged complain against him with the Election Commission. Jitendra refuted the charges.
There is interesting fight between liquor baron Jai Prakash Jaiswal and his wife Krishna Jaiswal on Deoria Sadar Vidhan Sabha seat. Jai Prakash is contesting election on Congress party ticket while Suhaldeo Bhartiya Samaj Party has fielded Krishna Jaiswal.
The tussle between husband and wife over the liquor business has spilled to the political field. Both are leaving no stone unturned to ensure victory at the hustings. Krishna has an edge over her husband as she was Chairman of Deoria Zila Panchayat and had launched several development projects in the area.
Another liquor baron Ram Prasad Jaiswal is contesting election on BSP ticket from Barhaj Vidhan Sabha seat and Jaiyendra Nath Jaiswal has been fielded by Suhaldeo Bhartiya Samaj Party on Shahjanwa Vidhan Sabha seat.
To woo the voters the supporters of Jaiyendra say that along with launching development projects he would ensure that every tippler gets a free liquor bottle from his outlets.