NEW DELHI: Seeking to check allurement of voters through alcohol, Election Commission today asked the state government to declare 48 hours preceding elections and the duration of the polling as 'dry days' in Delhi, going to the Assembly polls on February 7. This will include the dates of repoll, if any, EC said.
The Commission also said that on February 10, the date on which counting of votes is to be taken up, will be declared a 'dry day' under the relevant laws in the state.
The poll watchdog has also directed Secretary (Personnel) in the central government and Chief Secretary of Delhi to ensure that February 7 be declared a 'paid holiday' for the voters of Delhi. It said those residing or working outside the state but are registered as voters here also get a 'paid holiday'.
"The daily wage/casual workers are also entitled for a holiday and wages under Section 135 B of the Representation of the People Act, 1951," the EC direction issued recently said.
The EC warned that if an employer contravenes the provisions then such a person "shall be punishable with fine, which may extend to Rs 500."
The poll panel clarified that the provision of paid holiday will not apply to any elector whose absence may cause danger or substantial loss in respect of the employment in which he is engaged in.
In a separate directive, EC said liquor in any form cannot be sold, given or distributed at a hotel, eating house, tavern, shop or any other place - public or private - within a polling area, "during the period of forty-eight hours ending with the hour fixed for the conclusion of poll for any election in the polling area".
In other words, no liquor will be available from 6 PM of February 5 to 6 PM of February 7. The same rule will apply on February 10, the counting day.
The EC said storage of liquor by individuals will also be curtailed during the dry period.