In a first, stickers of candidates along with their party symbols have been spotted on liquor and beer bottles in the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh (AP) and Telangana ahead of general elections, Indian Express reported.
In days leading up to the elections, political workers in India have disturbed free liquor bottles to lure the public into voting for them. This is the first time that the liquor bottles are being distributed openly with stickers on them which makes them identifiable.
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In AP, beer bottles with Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) stickers were seen in the hands of people present at public meetings.
Sources within the parties revealed that the liquor was purchased and stocked about two to three weeks in advance. “If there is a public meeting or roadshow in an area, stickers would be affixed on the bottles and distributed to party activists, supporters and to those who agree to attend the meetings. Sometimes, people get two or more bottles depending on how many meetings of different party candidates they attend,” a party's election manager told the media.
In Telangana, liquor worth Indian Rs40 million has been seized since the first week of March. Whereas in AP, liquor worth over Indian Rs90 million had been seized till Wednesday.
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Political works also revealed that the candidate's expenditure on liquor increased because the public is no longer accepting half bottles. “Those who prefer beer demand the 650 ml bottles which are still cheaper while those wanting whisky demand full bottles which are expensive because they want premium brands only. Expectations have really gone up. Since so much expenditure is being made why not use the bottles to paste candidate and party stickers before distributing?” a political worker maintained.
This story originally appeared on Indian Express.
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