Excise officials in Goa have upped surveillance over illicit transportation of liquor from the State across the southern border owing to the fiercely contested elections in Karnataka scheduled to be held on May 10.
Goa is a known source of large scale movement of alcohol into Karnataka and the State administration had already been sounded out by the Chief Secretary and also the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of the neighbouring State about a month ago to tighten surveillance at the borders.
In fact the check-post at Pollem is already under 24-hour observation with surveillance cameras equipped with webcasting facilities already fitted there.
A top excise department official told The Goan that adequate manpower is being deputed at Pollem and other exit points are also being closely watched.
Apart from the Excise department, the police authorities besides officials from other enforcement agencies including Central like the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Indian Coast Guard and Enforcement Directorate and Income Tax are involved in the heightened levels of surveillance.
The Election Commission of India has warned of attempts by the political class to use illegal means of enticing the electorate in the high-pitched electoral battle where the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is being challenged by the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) of former prime minister H D Devegowda.
Apart from alcohol, the land route between Goa and Karnataka is also suspected to be used for movement of large amounts of cash and other goods for distribution as freebies in the highly competitive electoral battle.