Hoteliers across the state are disappointed over the dry days declared by the state government in the week.
While Saturday was declared a dry day owing to Ashadhi Ekadashi, the sale of liquor was prohibited on Sunday on account of the legislative council elections for the graduates’ and teachers’ constituency. The sale will also be prohibited on Monday and Wednesday till 4pm because of the elections. The idea is to prevent the candidates from influencing the voters using liquor.
“This is sheer injustice as most people are not even aware of these elections,” said Sudhakar Shetty, president, Association of Hotels and Restaurants (AHAR). He rued that while the business is in doldrums, the dry days would worsen the situation further.
Another hotelier in south Mumbai who did not wish to be identified remarked sarcastically that soon elections for local banks and institutions would be observed as dry days. “Majority of hotels were not even informed of the decision and had to face raids by the excise department,” said the hotelier.
An excise department officer, who declined to be named, said that they were helpless. “It is definitely a loss of revenue but we have orders from the higher-ups,” said the official.
On Monday, the state election commission would hold elections for four members of the legislative council, two each for the graduates’ and teachers’ constituency.
Unlike on previous occasions, the election has assumed significance owing to the intense campaigning.
Political parties have put up hoardings and also started door-to-door campaigning for their candidates.