Post liquor ban, Bihar emerges as a role model for BJP-ruled states

Post liquor ban, Bihar emerges as a role model for BJP-ruled states

PATNA: Bihar has dealt a severe blow to BJP’s ambitions to capture power in the state. Its present rulers are currently engaged in launching a sustained campaign against the saffron camp for failure by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to fulfill his pre-poll promises and also for implementing the “hidden agenda” of the RSS

Yet Bihar, it seems, has suddenly emerged as a “role model” for the states being ruled by the BJP. A year after Bihar showed the way by putting a total ban on alcohol consumption, BJP-ruled states now appear to be following in its footprints slowly and steadily, much to everyone’s surprise. The latest to follow Bihar is Chhattisgarh, a central Indian state where the BJP has been in power for the past 14 years.

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During a two-day visit of the state, Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh announced to impose liquor ban in his state in phases. The announcement came shortly after he had called on Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar at his 1, Anne Marg official residence in Patna on Tuesday.

Mr Singh was here to meet Niranjananand Saraswati of Munger Yoga Peeth who was conferred Padam Bhushan award recently. Saraswati who hails from Rajangaon in Chhattisgarh had left his home early in childhood to join Yoga Peeth which he currently heads now.

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“My state is slowly moving towards alcohol ban and under part of the plan, liquor will not be allowed in areas having a population up to 3,000,” was how Mr Singh announced. This came shortly after Madhya Pradesh—another central Indian state ruled by the BJP—announced on Monday to shut down all liquor shops in a phased manner.

Likewise, Jharkhand, another BJP-ruled state, too have been under tremendous pressures to ban liquor. Reports said the local residents have been constantly protesting on the streets demanding a complete ban on liquor on the pattern of Bihar.

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Handia, a traditional Adivasi drink described as “poor men’s whisky” and made by fermenting rice, is said to be the reason behind the protests with the male members found always under its influence. The demand for ban picked up momentum shortly after Bihar chief minister held a rally last year and asked the Raghubar Das government to follow suit.

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Yet another BJP-ruled state, Uttar Pradesh too has been facing protests from the villagers demanding alcohol ban. Here too, the fire of protests is said to have been ignited by the Bihar chief minister who held many election rallies there ahead of February-March polls and promised to impose total ban on liquor sale should his party came to power. Strangely, however, the JD-U walked out midway through the polls on the pretext of preventing split bin secular votes.

Courtesy: The Statesman

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