With only a day left for campaigning to end for the November 30 bypolls, the ruling BJP in Himachal seems to have been caught on the backfoot — its leaders had allegedly tried to woo the voters in the poverty belt of Sirmaur district with the help allurements like cash, liquor and other goods.
Two cross FIRs were registered at Renuka the police station on Sunday morning after state Chief Parliamentary Secretary Sukh Ram — a sitting MLA from the district — was found staying at Renuka Development Board’s guesthouse stocked with 31 boxes of liquor, 22 of which are countrymade.
Prohibitory orders are in place against taking liquor at Renuka — the spot being a sacred place for the Hindus.
According to sources, some Congress workers, who had laid a trap around midnight on Saturday, spotted Sukh Ram at the rest house. The workers gheraoed the place and called the police, alleging that huge quantity of liquor was being smuggled and stock will be distributed among voters on the polling day. The liquor was kept in the toilet of a room booked in the name of one Neeraj Chaudhry, said police.
Congress MLA Harsh Vardhan Chauhan said: “The DSP, who reached the site after 200-300 Congress workers gathered at the spot, helped the chief parliamentary secretary to escape with another person. Some liquor bottles were also thrown into the lake.”
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