Besides liquor and cash, drugs in Punjab would be a matter of serious concern for the Election Commission to tide over. Not the drug addicts would be lining up to cast their votes to patronise their mentors, but the wider ramifications of it could only be overlooked at the peril of having fair polls.In order to prevent drugs playing a role to influence voters in Punjab, the Election Commission has executed extra measures to check the menace.
Chief Electoral Officer Dr S Karuna Raju said in the backdrop of the acute drug problem in the state special task force had been put in place which included representatives of the Narcotics Control Bureau and the state task force against drugs. The entire force is split in accordance with the ranges of divisional commissioners.In addition, a dog squad has been pressed into service to intercept drug consignments.
“In all, 15 dogs are at the job, and they have the capacity to spot even the traces of drugs and they all are deployed at selected nakas for surprise checks,” said the CEO.Almost 6000 kgs of drugs and narcotics have been seized so far ever since the model code of conduct came into effect in the state, said the CEO.The four districts that have been a cause of major worry for the election authorities are Ferozepur, Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Tarn Taran where the seizures of drugs and liquor have been phenomenally high.Overall, the CEO said Tarn Taran, Gurdaspur and Ludhiana have so far been the places where alarm bells are ringing.