Prior to the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, liquor valued at around Rs 33.59 crore has been seized by authorities in Karnataka, making it the second-ranked state countrywide in the confiscation of alcohol, reports The Economic Times.
The revelation has been made by data released by the Election Commission. In comparison, liquor seized in the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu, traditionally more infamous for voters being swayed by handouts of alcohol, is valued at a mere Rs 2.39 crore.
Moreover, authorities have also seized hard cash to the tune of Rs 25.71 crore in raids carried out across Karnataka.
Additional Chief Electoral Officer K G Jagadish stated that not all seized liquor is necessarily was meant for influencing the electorate. These were simply instances where the quantity of liquor found was more than what was legally allowed.
“But we do this so that it acts as a deterrent, and to ensure it is not used to influence voters,” he remarked.
Political analyst S Mahadeva Prakash said that Karnataka is the worst when it comes to the practice of influencing voters through alcohol.
“These practices have existed since the 1970s when prohibition was removed. In Tamil Nadu, there is at least a partial prohibition in place and it is implemented strictly,” he said.
He explained that in some remote parts of the state, parties try to dissuade the supporters of their rivals from appearing to vote on election day by supplying them with large quantities of alcohol beforehand.
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