ECI tough on liquor politics in Chhattisgarh

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Raipur, Nov 12 (UNI) The Election Commission of India (ECI) has taken exception to reports of distribution of liquor among voters by candidates and instructed round-the-clock videography of distilleries and godowns in Chhattisgarh in the run-up to assembly polls on November 14 and 20.

The ECI directed the state Excise Commissioner to furnish daily reports to the Commission on supply and sale of liquor.

State Chief Electoral Officer Alok Shukla said here today that videography would be carried out at all entry and exit points of distilleries and godowns till the end of the second phase of polling. The order was given after complaints that some nominees were distributing liquor.

''The complaints made it clear that slum-dwellers were being given the liquor,'' Dr Shukla added.

Confusion prevailed yesterday when police raided the residence of Congress state Secretary Subhash Sharma at Sundernagar here over reports of liquor being stored there.

However, police found only party campaign material. The Congress had already complained to the ECI about police harassment of Mr Sharma and even blamed the BJP for using the district administration against its leader.

Meanwhile, the ECI directed Bhilai Steel Plant authorities to ensure that there are no outsiders in the staff quarters in the wake of some parties complaining that outsiders were residing there and were making a strategy to rig the Friday polling.

On the other hand, the ECI removed the municipal commissioners of Bhilai and Bilaspur -- Niranjan Das and A H Hanifi -- on the ground that they completed more than three years in office.

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