The big fat Punjabi wedding is in danger of losing its party spirit, and you can blame the assembly polls for it.
A 48-hour ban on liquor sales ahead of polling day, which falls on December 4, and on counting day, December 8, is forcing many Delhiites to change their long-fixed wedding dates. Those who can’t will have to settle for band, baaja, baarat and no booze.
The Election Commission enforces this ban to stop political parties from trying to influence voters. Before it announced the poll dates, everybody had been expecting elections in November.
“Our cocktail party was scheduled for December 4 and the wedding for December 6. But with the excise department not giving us a liquor licence, we have shifted the cocktail party to December 5,” said Pankaj Bajaj of north Delhi.
KK Dua of Patel Nagar, who booked a farmhouse in Alipur three months ago for a December 4 wedding, may not be able to change the venue this late. “We can’t change venues at the last minute. So, we’ve contacted the excise department to find out if liquor can be served after voting gets over at 5pm,” he said. “Weddings are an occasion to celebrate and serving alcohol is common. We don’t want to disappoint our guests.”
December is a month for weddings in Delhi, but most of the auspicious dates are in the first week, “from December 3 to 10”, according to Pandit Ramesh, who conducts Hindu ceremonies.
Excise department sources said they have been receiving requests for liquor licences. “We will be issuing a notification about the dry days,” said a senior official.