Hyderabad: Liquor is flowing like water in the Nagajunsagar Assembly constituency ever since the Election Commission released the schedule for the April 17 bypoll on March 16.
With major political parties fighting this election like a 'do-or-die battle', the local leaders are trying to lure voters with liquor, cash and biryani, the huge supplies reaching every village and town in the constituency.
Cash and liquor are given to people even to attend the roadshows being addressed by candidates and leaders. Local leaders say it’s difficult to mobilise a crowd even for a road show, let alone public meeting addressed by top leaders, unless money — Rs 500 or Rs 1,000 — reached the pockets of the people and bottles of liquor were placed in their hands.
At this rate, a party or candidate may have to pay Rs 2,000 or more for a vote before the polling on April 17, analysts reckon. A video of 'dappu chatimpu' (a traditional form of making public announcement by beating the drum) at a village, asking all male and female voters to remain present at homes as “our” candidate is visiting the village for campaigning and each voter will be paid RS 1,000, has gone viral on the social media.
Data for the month of March shows how liquor sales at outlets have hit a record high in Nagarjunasagar constituency comprising of seven mandals and two municipalities after the election notification was issued.
Liquor sales were at Rs 18.23 crore last month against just RS 7.87 crore recorded in March last year. The sales are expected to increase further till the polling date. Liquor sales of Rs 1.50 crore are being registered per day since April 1.
With CM's huge public meeting being planned for April 14 in Halia, TRS leaders are making arrangements to mobilise a huge crowd from every village and every town, the liquor sales are expected to shoot up phenomenally.
The campaigning by top leaders from all parties is also scheduled in the remaining six days before the polling day. Local leaders say people are not settling for cheaper liquor brands anymore. They are demanding premium brands....