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Updated: December 4, 2013 14:19 IST
Delhi Assembly elections 2013

Liquor flows freely on Delhi election eve

    Kritika Sharma
    Shubhomoy Sikdar
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Slum dwellers were the main targets.

Election officials recover illicit liquor and cash at Narela in North Delhi on Tuesday on the eve of the Assembly polls in the Capital. Photo: PTI
PTI Election officials recover illicit liquor and cash at Narela in North Delhi on Tuesday on the eve of the Assembly polls in the Capital. Photo: PTI

About 43,000 bottles of liquor packed in different units and Rs. 1.57 crore in cash were seized during the election season in Delhi.

The seizure made jointly by the Delhi Election Commission and the Delhi Police was 1,642.22 litre of country-made liquor, 758.7 litre of Indian-made foreign liquor and 585 bottles of beer. These seizures were made across the city in Sarai Rohilla, Okhla, Narela, Anand Vihar, Burari and Hari Nagar.

The police said political parties, in order to woo voters, could be behind the distribution of the liquor bottles. Slum dwellers were the main targets.

But, the clandestine effort to swing votes may not pay dividends as the voters seem indifferent to such inducements. “Earlier people would vote after taking liquor and cash but now they don’t vote even after accepting such goodies,” a Bharatiya Janata Party leader said.

The Hindu visited some slum clusters such as Sanjay camp, Nizamuddin basti, Nehru camp and Shashi Garden, but most residents denied accepting liquor.

While some said such inducements would not change their party preference, others said the mode of bribing over the years had changed.

A resident of Sanjay Camp, a slum in Chanakyapuri which has a handful of critical polling stations, said that in the run-up to the elections, some parties tried to bribe them by paying them under the guise of daily wages. He went on to add that he had heard rumours about cash meant for distribution coming to the camp on the eve of the elections.

Reports of payment to voters in kind rather than in cash also surfaced on Tuesday evening with attempts being made to distribute groceries.

A resident of Nehru camp in East Delhi said on the condition of anonymity: “Such things cannot change my decision or my family’s idea of casting vote. I will vote for the person I want to despite the gifts given to us, if any.”

The AAP said they had launched a drive to check the distribution of cash and liquor. Local volunteers of the party recently uploaded a video on YouTube exposing the alleged distribution of free liquor by political parties in Outer Delhi.

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