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HP bypolls: Cong cries foul over alcohol seizure allegedly from BJP leaders

Vikramaditya Singh accused BJP of trying to influence voters by distributing liquor and said Rampur Police had seized 20 boxes of liquor from a pickup.

SNS | Shimla |

A major controversy erupted in Himachal Pradesh on the penultimate day of campaigning for by-polls to the Mandi Lok Sabha seat after 20 boxes of alcohol were allegedly seized from BJP leaders in Shimla district in the wee hours on Tuesday.

Congress MLA from Shimla (Rural) constituency Vikramaditya Singh accused BJP of trying to influence voters by distributing liquor and said Rampur Police had seized 20 boxes of liquor from a pickup.

“The liquor was being smuggled by BJP’s Rampur block general secretary and up-pradhan in Rampur area which was caught by the police on a tip-off from locals,” he said, adding the ruling party should desist from such tactics in the elections.

State Congress chief Kuldeep Singh Rathore filed a complaint with Chief Electoral Officer C Paulrasu and demanded strict vigil in all constituencies to thwart any attempt of the ruling party to influence voters by illicit means.

State Congress spokesperson Naresh Chauhan accused the ruling BJP of using money power to win the elections and said the Election Commission should take strict action against such coercive measures.

“The ruling party is misusing government machinery and liquor to influence voters in bypolls to the Mandi Lok Sabha seat and assembly segments of Arki, Fatehpur, and Jubbal Kotkhai which is in violation of Model Code of Conduct,” he added.

He told The Statesman that over 100 complaints had been received from party leaders in four constituencies to date and the Election Commission seemed to have become a puppet in the hands of the BJP.
“This also leads us to believe that the ruling party is aware of the dissent among the general public over price rise and unemployment which is the reason that the party is using such tactics to influence voters,” he stated.