Tamil Nadu: Sale of liquor restricted due to polls, festivals

Rural local body polls are set to take place in nine districts in two phases on October 6 and October 9.

The Tamil Nadu government has announced that sale and transport of liquor and opening of bars will be restricted in the nine districts due for rural local body polls soon. The restrictions are also applicable to 28 districts where casual elections (to fill vacant posts) are to take place on October 9.

Rural local body polls are set to take place in Kancheepuram, Chengalpet, Vellore, Tiruppatur, Ranipet, Villupuram, Kallakurichi, Tirunelveli and Tenkasi in two phases on October 6 and October 9.

As per the release by the Tamil Nadu Election Commission, in view of the first phase of polls on October 6, the sale of liquor, opening of bars or transporting of liquors into poll-bound areas or into those within a 5-km radius of them will be prohibited from 10 am on October 4 till midnight of October 6.

In areas where the second phase of rural local body election is set to take place on October 9, the same restrictions will be in place from 10 am on October 7 till midnight of October 9. The restriction on liquor would be in force on the day of counting of votes (October 12) as well.

Police have been instructed to initiate strict action against the violators.

According to the data released by the state election commission, 79,433 candidates are contesting for the 23,998 rural local body posts. As far as casual elections are concerned, 1,386 candidates will be contesting for the vacant 418 posts.

The state election commission has directed district collectors to form flying squads for the elections. The squads are to include one executive magistrate in the rank of tahsildar and revenue divisional officers beside police personnel. They are to act on complaints of violation of model code of conduct, anti-social activities, threat, intimidation, and of bribing voters with liquor and cash.

“The district collectors should constitute the flying squads in a way that they operate 24 hours. The squads with an eight-hour duty on a shift basis should be constituted,” a release read.

Meanwhile, the state government has declared October 2 and October 19 as ‘dry days’ on the account of Gandhi Jayanti and Eid Milad-un-Nabi. In a communiqué, the TASMAC said all IMFL Retail Vending Shops and attached bars would remain closed on October 2 and October 19.

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