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Candidates distribute alcohol among voters under Delhi EC's nose

india Updated: Oct 27, 2013 15:45 IST

With Delhi assembly elections a little over a month away, certain political parties are going all out to lure voters, even finding innovative ways to supply liquor to them in a bid to bypass the hawk eyes of the election commission.

According to the modus operandi, the voter is given a slip with the number of a currency note which is to be deposited with an identified liquor shop owner to get alcohol bottles.

These slips are being secretively distributed among voters by agents of some candidates.

The liquor vendor, who has already been paid in cash, supplies the bottles or the cartons to the customers on the basis of the number or numbers written on the slips, a list of which has already been provided to him.

In some cases, cartons of liquor bottles are being directly supplied to the voters' homes.

The Chief Electoral Office had previously said that there was a need to keep a tab on the use of liquor by candidates as distribution of free alcohol among voters had become a menace during elections across the country.

"With stakes running high, the candidates are trying to outdo each other in offering allurements. From the day of filing nominations, slum dwellers have been getting royal treatment in form of biryani, cash and liquor by political parties through their agents," an EC official said.

"The parties manage to hoodwink the election commission every time with some innovative way or another," the official said.

This time, however, the commission is determined to curb the use of liquor and has sought cooperation from neighbouring cities to check the movement of money, liquor and musclemen.

Flying squads have also been constituted in the city to check violation of model code of conduct.

The Chief Electoral Officer recently held a meeting with the excise department and the intelligence bureau to chalk out a strategy to contain the illegal transportation, storage and supply of liquor in the city.

"There are a myriad ways in which candidates spend money on wooing the electorate and distribution of liquor is one of them. Though there are no easy solutions to curb the practice, the increase in liquor sales make us suspect that alcohol is being used extensively.

"We held a meeting in this regard with the excise department and the intelligence bureau officials. We have provided them with a list of all liquor vendors and wirehouses in the city," said Special Chief Electoral Officer Shurbir Singh.