Udaipur : Its voting time for villagers again at Barjal panchayat of Rajsamand district. However the polls are not for electing representatives but for even better a cause. Hundreds of villagers would cast their vote in favour or against liquor ban in their area. Resigning to public demand, the district administration is making all arrangements for the poll to be conducted on Saturday.
Earlier, in March 2016, villagers at Kachhabali in Rajsamand had casted their votes to close down the lone liquor stall. It was the first time when the provision of the state excise act was evoked which allows closure of any country liquor shop if 51 % of all registered voters express their desire for it. With a majority of 67.11% votes, Kachhabali people had managed to get rid of the menace of alcohol and alcoholism from their area.
Barjal villagers too had been demanding closure of the liquor shops for some time and women folks had taken lead in initiating the process of referendum. As per the norms, before the poll is held, at least 20% of the voters of the gram panchayat or municipal ward must seek a referendum on the issue, in a letter to the district collector. The villagers fulfilled the procedural formalities and thus the poll date announced. “ The polls would be conducted on Saturday as per the provisions laid in the Rajasthan Excise (closure of country liquor shops by local option) Rules 1975 clause 11. The polls would be conducted at three Atal Seva Kendras in which 2781 voters from all 9 wards of the Panchayat would cast their votes “ P.C Berwal, collector Rajsamand said.
There has been a rising awareness against the liquor menace since and over half a dozen villages in Rajsamand alone have been demanding similar referendum for a liquor ban.
At Barjal, voters specially the women are much excited for the polls. Activists and workers have been holding campaigns for a week now and making door to door appeals to voters to turn out in large numbers for the alcohol ban. Massive campaign is likely to bear fruits as people are quite confident of the victory.