Punjab: EC’s prohibition orders effective from today until polling ends on Saturday
Production and and dispatching of liquor in five distilleries have already been stopped, and 12 others are under scanner.
The Election Commission’s prohibition orders in Punjab ahead of the Assembly polls will be effective from 5 pm on Thursday, reported NDTV. The state will vote on Saturday, after which the ban on alcohol will be withdrawn.
The Election Commission on Tuesday had ordered the closure of five distilleries in Punjab until elections are over. The decision came three days after more than one lakh bottles of liquor were seized in Bathinda, which had been brought from Haryana, Arunachal Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh. Twelve other distilleries in the state are also under scanner, reported the Hindustan Times.
The Election Commission had launched a crackdown on the illegal supply of liquor soon after the Model Code of Conduct came into force. Besides, one lakh bottles of liquor, 1,000 cases of liquor in Hoshiarpur and 2,100 cartons from Pathankot were also recovered by the state excise department on Saturday, PTI reported. Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Chandigarh, Jammu and Kashmir, and Rajasthan have been asked to shut liquor vendors within three kilometres of the state borders from 48 hours before the polls, reported Hindustan Times.
The EC said it was monitoring the situation to avoid luring voters using liquor or narcotics, reported The Times of India. The police has taken 4,147 people in preventive custody to ensure peaceful elections in the state. State Chief Electoral Officer VK Singh told NDTV that political leaders, functionaries, and party workers who are not registered voters will have to vacate constituencies 48 hours prior to the polling date.
Polling in Punjab will be held in a single phase on February 4 along with Goa. The results will be out after counting on on March 11.