Though no official announcement has been made regarding panchayat elections in Haryana so far, the demand for liquor has increased in the rural areas as prospective candidates have already started wooing the voters.
The owners of liquor vends are struggling to cope with the growing demand of the country-made liquor. "In the past two months, sale at my liquor vend has gone up to 100 boxes per day (12 bottles per box) as against 50 to 60 boxes per day two months ago," says owner of a liquor vend in Rohtak, on the condition of anonymity.
Though the excise and taxation department fixes the quota of every liquor vend at the time of auction, vend owners are purchasing liquor illegally, even at cheaper rates, to make the most of the coming panchayat elections.
LIQUOR MAFIA EARNING HUGE PROFITS
Election is the best earning season for the liquor mafia. Liquor vend owners are providing up to 50% concession on country-made liquor (CML), charging `50 per bottle against `100 price fixed by the excise department. Still their gross earnings are higher.
"Yes, we sell 12 bottles of CML for `600 to our regular customers, against the fixed price of `1,200, but we cannot tell you the prices at which we are purchasing them," said a liquor contractor.
"There are two kinds of liquor being sold in Haryana. One is original which contractors purchase with bills from liquor factories. The other is 'chalti' liquor which comes directly from the factory to the vends without bills and without paying any tax to the government," a person who supplies liquor to vends told HindustanTimes.
"Yes, the quality of the 'chalti' liquor is very poor, but we sell it to liquor vends at `250 to `300 per bag of 12 bottles and they sell the same at `500 to `600 to consumers. Currently, 'chalti' liquor is in high demand," he added.
Regarding the increasing demand of liquor, an inspector of the Haryana excise department said, "There is a provision whereby the liquor vend owners can get their quota increased, but they don't do so and prefer to contact liquor manufacturers directly and the latter provide them low quality liquor at cheaper rates"
BHIWANI VILLAGE SAYS NO TO LIQUOR
Though liquor rules the roost during the panchayat polls in most of the villages, Nihalgarh village in Bhiwani district has set an example by opposing this trend.
Sheopal Yadav, outgoing sarpanch of Nihalgarh, has decided to ban the use of liquor in his village during the upcoming polls.
To keep an eye on the candidates, the village has formed a committee of local youths. The committee will report to the village elders if anybody will enter their village under the influence of alcohol. Anyone violating the ban will have to pay a fine of `11,000 and also clean the streets of the village.