Rural Bhilwara is busy bottling local brew in soft-drink bottles even as political warriors go counting their achievements in public to win votes.
If the district administration doesn’t take immediate steps soon, the 2014 elections here will be a contest of poll-ready ‘soft-drink bottles’.
Liquor had been a major tragedy during the 2004 general elections here. At least six persons had dead and 69 turned partly blind after a political party had supplied illicit liquor in Kanvaliyas and Hurda panchayat samiti villages in Bhilwara district. However, still the illegal breweries are churning out the deadly liquid without any check of police or the district administration.
Just a visit to some nearby villages of Bhilwara district will prove what elections really means here.
Aren’t brewers afraid of the election commission or the police?
Rukmani Sansi, a traditional liquor manufacturer in Malola village said.
“We aren’t afraid of a police raid. It takes just a bottle or two to placate them, and send them back.”
She has been caught many times in the past by the police but she has not changed her business. Election time is a boom time for rural booze makers.
A Congress Sarpanch says villagers like the local brew because it calms down the senses but it serves as a cheap buy for political parties. It can be supplied two-three times near the polling day.
Liquor manufacturer Ratan Singh Tak says, “Liquor is the best way to lure voters. Candidates and party workers use it to attract voters, generally in rural and slum areas.”
A bit late, but the district administration is gearing up to raid such rural breweries.
District collector Ravi Surpur says, “It is our priority to stop such illegal activities. The excise and the police departments have been directed to nab such manufacturers. I will review this matter in a meeting will be held on April 2.”