Election Commission to check liquor flow in Andhra Pradesh

March 16th, 2009 - 10:17 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, March 16 (IANS) Taking a serious view of the liquor flow in Andhra Pradesh ahead of next month’s polls, the election authorities Monday asked the state government to furnish on daily basis the details of production and supply of liquor in the state.
The authorities also ordered closure of all belt shops or the illegal outlets of licensed liquor shops, within three days.

Chief Electoral Officer I.V. Subba Rao asked the state authorities to make available on daily basis the details of production of liquor in distilleries, its sale and supply to the liquor shops across the state.

The state-run beverages corporation has been asked to give the details of how much liquor it was procuring and supplying to the retail outlets.

The move came following several representations made to the Election Commission by the Lok Satta party of former bureaucrat Jaiprakash Narayan and some non governmental organisations.

The direction came close on the heels of the visit of Chief Election Commissioner N. Gopalaswami and the two commissioners to the state to review arrangements for the simultaneous polls to Lok Sabha and state assembly, scheduled to be held April 16 and 23.

The Election Commission is determined to check flow of liquor in Andhra Pradesh, which is considered next only to Bihar and Uttar Pradesh in use of money and liquor by various parties to influence the voters.

The state’s consumption of three million cases (of nine litre each) every month is among the highest in the country.

Meanwhile, the state police Monday seized a big haul of explosives in Anantapur district of the faction-ridden Rayalaseema region.

During a raid on the office of the Ritwik Projects Limited near Hundri Niva project, the police seized 350 bags of ammonium nitrate, 8,000 gelatine sticks and 60 detonators. Police said that the material was stored illegally.

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