Elections are the celebration of democracy. But stringent measures to implement the model code of conduct by authorities may come in the way of you raising a toast in the pub city of Bengaluru.
The model code of conduct came into place from March 27 when the dates for polls were announced.
Till Tuesday afternoon, 303 excise licenses have been temporarily suspended in the city alone, and a total of 793 establishments have been temporarily shut till the polling day for various violations across the state. The licenses will be reinstated following a fine once the elections are over.
“These include bars, pubs and outlets selling alcohol. Violations could be with respect to timings, improper record-keeping of stocks and sales, selling beyond the permissible limit,” a senior excise official said.
“There is no cap on the quantity of liquor that can be served to individuals at a bar but they have to maintain proper record on a day-to-day basis. In retail stores, no individual can be sold more than 2.2 litres of beer, or 750 ml of hard liquor,” he added..
This is in stark contrast to the enforcement measures taken during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. That time, only around 14 pubs were shut.
The manager of a pub at the city’s Central Business District said, “Although there have been no official circulars, we are being extra careful with these news reports coming in.”
Meanwhile, the Election Commission’s Static Surveillance Team till date has seized, 24.09 litres of liquor while flying squads have seized another 900 litres of alcohol across the state since the model code of conduct came in place.
The Excise Department individually has further seized 364464.442 litres of Indian Made Liquor (IML) and other liquor worth Rs. 17,44,60,265.
This amounts to a total of 365388 litres of alcohol seized since March 27 (over a period of less than a month).