EC directive to states on ‘dry days’ during polls
New Delhi: Seeking to check allurement of voters through alcohol, Election Commission on thursday asked state governments to declare 48 hours preceding elections and the duration of the polling as ‘dry days’ in constituencies going for the nine-phased Lok Sabha polls beginning April 7.
The same rule will apply for the assembly elections taking place simultaneously in Arunachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Sikkim.
No liquor can be sold at shops or served in restaurants and hotels on May 16 also when the counting of votes will take place, EC said.
In a directive sent to all state chief secretaries, the EC drew their attention to Section 135 C of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 which provides that liquor in any form cannot be sold, given or distributed at a hotel, eating house, tavern, shop or any other place – public or private – within a polling area, “during the period of forty-eight hours ending with the hour fixed for the conclusion of poll for any election in the polling area”.
The EC said storage of liquor by individuals will also be curtailed during the dry period.
It asked states to ensure that steps are taken to prohibit sale of liquor in adjoining areas of the constituencies concerned so that there is no chance of smuggling.
In a separate directive to all the Chief Electoral Officers, the EC said the personnel involved in the conduct of elections shoulder their duty in demanding circumstances.
“Therefore, the least that can be done is to treat them with propriety and to provide for certain basic amenities,” the poll body said.