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No-booze 72 hours for poll-bound Kolkata in May



KOLKATA: Get ready for three ‘dry days’ in the city and surrounding areas in May due to the election, as per the Election Commission’s directive. Kolkata south and north, along with Dum Dum, Barasat, Howrah and Jadavpur, will go to polls on May 19. Barrackpore, another constituency bordering the city, will vote on May 6.

An Excise official said as per the directive, off shops and bars in Kolkata will remain closed on May 23, the counting day, and from 5pm on May 17 to 5pm on May 19. It will be applicable for Jadavpur, Dum Dum and Barasat as well. Incidentally, areas adjacent to Kolkata, including Salt Lake, New Town and Garia, are under these constituencies. “As per the directive, 48 hours before the closing of polling in a constituency, liquor shops and bars will remain closed,” he said.

A leading off shop owner said, “There is no point in opening the shop after 5pm on May 19. So, it will essentially remain closed for the entire day.” Hotel & Restaurant Association of Eastern India administrative committee chairman Sudesh Poddar pointed out that May 17 and May 18 being Friday and Saturday, the directive will impact sales of bars in a big way.

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