The sale of liquor is banned in Gujarat but the election season has brought much delight to tipplers here. The state governed by BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi has recorded third-highest seizure of liquor among all states and union territories, the Election Commission disclosed here on Thursday.
PK Dash, director-general in charge of expenditure monitoring at the poll panel said the seizure of liquor in Gujarat – 10 million litres -- was higher than bigger states such as Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
And a probable reason could be prohibition.
Gujarat's liquor link is further strengthened by the fact that in neighbouring Daman and Diu, a union territory, EC officials have seized 15 million litre of illegal liquor, the second highest among Indian states and union territories.
The only state to beat Gujarat and Daman and Diu was Andhra Pradesh, where 79 million litre of illegal liquor ---- possessed without proper EC authorisation --was seized.
Another surprise state when it came to illegal liquor was West Bengal, where the Left parties and Trinamool Congress are pitted against each other. The state was fourth with 5.46 million litre seized.
Punjab this election is low on illegal liquor and high on drugs. The Punjab Police and Border Security Force have seized 1.4 kg of heroin worth R520 crore at the India-Pakistan border. The liquor seized was 4.54 million litre.
In all, 130 million litre of liquor and R216 crore of cash have been seized till Thursday. Like liquor, Andhra Pradesh also tops the list of cash seizures with R97 crore of unaccounted money found since elections were announced on March 5.
EC officials said that compared to the 2009 polls, when R190 crore in cash was seized, this election is witnessing a higher flow of unaccounted money even though the constituency-wise expenditure limit has been increased by about 70%.