Bihar’s drunken candidate lands in jail after filing papers
In Bihar, more than 1.50 lakh people have so far been arrested for violating the prohibition law while more than 25 lakh litres of liquor have been seized since Bihar became dry state.Updated: Mar 26, 2019 19:50 IST
An independent candidate with dreams of becoming a lawmaker in dry Bihar found himself on the wrong side of the law and was arrested for having consumed liquor, immediately after he filed his nomination papers from the Purnia Lok Sabha seat on Tuesday.
Bihar had announced total prohibition on April 5, 2016, making consumption, transportation and sale of liquor an offence.
Officials said that 40-year-old Rajeev Kumar Singh had come to file his papers in an inebriated condition. Singh is a resident of Nagrah under Naugachhia police station of Bhagalpur district in Bihar.
This was the first time he had thrown his hat into the political ring, said Singh’s friend, refusing to identified.
An unabashed Singh even admitted to having consumed liquor when officials questioned him.
“Seeing his behavior, we suspected he had consumed liquor. Our suspicion came true when Singh nonchalantly admitted to having consumed liquor before arriving at the venue to file his nomination papers,” said another official.
“The candidate was arrested soon after he filed his papers,” said Purnia district magistrate-cum-returning officer Pradeep Kumar Jha.
“A breathalyzer test confirmed traces of alcohol and he has been arrested,” said excise superintendent Omprakash, who goes by one name.
In Bihar, more than 1.50 lakh people have so far been arrested for violating the prohibition law while more than 25 lakh litres of liquor have been seized since the law came into existence.
Purnia, in Seemanchal division, is the stronghold of the ruling Janata Dal (United). The constituency is currently represented by JD(U)’s Santosh Kumar, who filed his nomination papers on March 20, while seeking re-election. He is likely to face a stiff contest from Uday Singh of the Congress.
Uday Singh, a two-time BJP MP, had recently defected to the Congress after the seat went to JD(U) in the alliance’s seat-sharing adjustment. Altogether, 17 candidates have filed their nominations. The constituency goes to poll in the second phase of the seven-phase election in Bihar on April 18.
The Election Commission has made elaborate arrangements to check liquor sale and consumption during the elections. Barely a week before the election dates were announced on March 10, the Bihar police had dedicated a specially trained dog squad to track alcohol and prevent its use during polls.
On Monday, the police in neighbouring Araria district had to resort to firing after liquor smugglers attacked them with lethal weapons and firearms when the cops went to seize the liquor.