SEC Announces Ban On Liquor Sale During Panchayat Polls In Odisha; Know Other Restrictions

Bhubaneswar: The State Election Commission (SEC) on Wednesday announced restrictions on sale of liquor during panchayat elections.

Releasing a fresh list of guidelines for the ensuing panchayat polls on the day, the SEC said the sale and distribution of liquor will be banned for 48 hours ahead of polls till the day after the voting day in the areas where elections will be held.

The Commission has directed the officials to ensure that liquor is not sold or served at hotels in the places  where the voting will take place. It has banned transportation of alcohol to the poll-bound regions during the period.

No arms and fatal weapons will be allowed to the booths, people carrying licenced guns and other weapons are prohibited from moving around near those places from February 16 to March 1.

The SEC has warned of stern action against the persons who would violate its orders.

Meanwhile, the SEC has directed the state government to declare paid leave for its employees on election days. The government has also been told to grant special casual leave for 3 days to the employees staying from their voting places.

Besides, the courts will remain closed in the places on polling day, the SEC annunced.

The panchayat elections will be held in five phases in the state from February 16.

As per the schedule announced by the SEC, the polling will be held on February 16, 18, 20, 22 and 24. The counting of votes, which will be done at block level, will be held on February 26, 27 and 28.

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