BJP seeks review of liquor ban in Bihar; JD(U) says prohibition to stay

BJP seeks review of liquor ban in Bihar; JD(U) says prohibition to stay
JD(U) national president Lalan Singh. Source: IANS

Patna, Nov 6 (IANS) Following mass demonstrations in the past four days, the BJP in Bihar, which is an ally of the ruling JD(U), said on Saturday that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar should review the liquor ban in the state.

 

On November 26, 2015, Nitish Kumar had announced that alcohol would be banned in the state from April 1, 2016. Kumar officially declared the total ban on April 5, 2016.

"The liquor prohibition law has completely failed across the state. Liquor mafias are running their illegal operations with the help of the local police. The incidents of hooch tragedy are taking place only in those villages where liquor mafias are secretly operating without any support of the local police," said Sanjay Jaiswal, BJP state president and Rajya Sabha MP.

"The situation in my constituency (West Champaran) is extremely bad. Liquor manufacturing and sales are taking place in every village. The local police are fully aware of it, but they are hand-in-glove with the entire nexus of manufacturing, sale and transportation of liquor," Jaiswal said.

His statement came after 15 persons died in Bettiah in West Champaran after consuming spurious liquor since Diwali. Ten deaths each have also been reported from Muzaffarpur and Gopalganj. On Saturday, four persons died in Samastipur as well after consuming spurious liquor.

"The liquor prohibition law has completely failed in the state. It was imposed in April 2016, and five-and-a-half years have gone by since then. Hence, the Chief Minister should review the law and analyse its positive and negative impacts and take a decision accordingly," Jaiswal said.

Earlier on Saturday, JD(U) national president Lalan Singh had said that the state government will not roll back the liquor ban law.

While interacting with mediapersons in Patna, Lalan Singh said, "We have law pertaining to murder, but still murders take place all over the world. Similarly, the liquor prohibition law will remain intact in Bihar. We will take strong action against the accused involved in manufacturing spurious liquor.

"Our Chief Minister has already called for a high-level assessment meeting on this issue on November 16. We will discuss the gaps leading to violation of the law in the state," Singh said.