When liquor for votes turns BJP mantra in Andhra Pradesh

BJP Andhra Pradesh unit president Somu Veerraju promises cheap liquor if his party comes to power

Freebies distributed ahead of elections don’t evoke any surprise anymore. For, all parties across India have resorted to doing just that in some way or the other. Money and other gifts have been ruling the poll scene, and the situation has turned increasingly so over the past few election seasons.

But of late, the BJP unit in Andhra Pradesh has gone a step further. And this development assumes added significance owing to the fact that the BJP, which swears by Indian culture and ethos, is doing this!

Though elections are due only in 2024, the state unit of the BJP seems to be going all out to garner support of the public much ahead of the voting season. Andhra Pradesh BJP’s president Somu Veerraju is the man in focus at the moment.

Liquor promise to lure votes in 2024

Veerraju has created a flutter by announcing that the party would bring down the price of liquor in the state if the party gets one crore votes. He promised to offer liquor at Rs 50. The BJP is looking to beat the YSR Congress Party government led by Jagan Mohan Reddy when the state goes to the polls in 2024.

According to the BJP state unit president, the party will provide liquor for just Rs 70. “If we have more revenue left, then will provide liquor for just Rs 50,” Veerraju said, while addressing a rally in Vijayawada on Tuesday.

Offering the people cheap liquor for votes is something that needs to be discussed by the Election Commission, no less.  In a bid to assume power, luring voters with the promise of cheap alcohol isn’t something that would go hand in hand with civility.

The BJP wants to dislodge the Jagan Mohan Reddy government in Andhra Pradesh. The fact is that the party is so desperate that it looks to do it by hook or crook. The cheap liquor promise stems from this desperation.

But how can a party, that too the one that rules the country and one that revels in upholding traditional ethos and cultural pride, stoop to such level. It needs to be noted that the promise of cheap liquor for votes has not come from some party functionary trying to garner attention. It has come from the man who leads the party in the state. That itself calls for some action from the party higher ups.

The promise was announced on Tuesday, and three days have passed since then. Not one national leader has spoken about this nor expressed concern. The Opposition too seems silent. Does that mean such promises are okay? The Election Commission should not think so, by any standards.

BJP Plan: Rs 50-liquor to topple Jagan Govt

Funny is the fact that the announcement came at a rally that was convened to lash out against Jagan Mohan Reddy’s “corrupt” government. Wouldn’t offering liquor for votes fall under the definition of corruption? Wonder the BJP top brass knows this.

In 2019, the BJP had scored a duck when the Andhra Pradesh state went to the polls. The YSRCP had made a clean sweep, bagging 151 of the 175 seats. The TDP won 23 seats. Meanwhile, the BJP had to wait for the elections to arrive in 2024. And, even before the election year is near, the BJP seems to be pulling out all its ammunition to ensure a win. But sadly enough, the party president of the state went a step further to make his chief ministerial chances rosy by offering cheap liquor for votes.

Politics in India has fallen from bad to worse, with such elements going ballistic over stupidity. They never think before they act, and in the process pull down even those who stay on the right line. It is high time that the leadership circles of the parties in the country start intervening in the best way to safeguard the ethics that the political arena needs to have.

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Sanjeev Ramachandran

A journalist with 23 years of experience, Sanjeev has worked with reputed media houses such as Business Standard, The Ne More »
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