With temperatures soaring and elections only a few weeks away, the alcohol sales are naturally expected to rise, but according to many booze retail outlets in Karnataka, the poll time always brings with it a shortage of the intoxicants, especially beer. Besides, Election Commission issuing strict guidelines to all alcohol sellers in the country over limited sales, the retailers say that whenever the model code of conduct is in place, they always experience a dip in sales.
A chilled beer can in the scorching heat of Bengaluru may also be a difficult catch as the beer outlets have to sell a limited supply of booze daily under the model code of conduct.
"We can only pick up limited cases of beer bottles and other alcoholic beverages from vendors. This will naturally result in a shortage," Vikram Jagdish, an owner of an MRP outlet in Bengaluru told the New Indian Express.
Beer, which is the highest sold alcoholic beverage, doesn't even reach many wine shops at this time, the retailers say.
A beer shortage?
There are also apprehensions among the alcohol retailers that the mafia may try to take under its control all the stocks of alcohol which will lead to the shortage.
Last year during the state Assembly elections in Karnataka, the alcohol mafia was very active in days preceding polls to sell the liquor at higher rates later on. The State Excise department, however, said that the limited supply of alcohol in the country during election days is a routine as the sale is completely barred during the polling days.
An interesting study conducted by the Indian Institute of Management, Bengaluru in conjunction with Kings College, London noted that the trend of Indian voters buying lots of local alcohol (desi daaru) during the election days has been seen especially when the political parties buy votes through paying cash to the people, the Print reported.
The overall expenses of Indian households before and after the elections also saw a marked improvement with an easy flow of money to the voters especially the lower income groups.