Puthupally (Kerala): Villagers in Puthupally, from where Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy is a legislator for the past 44 years, are now angry with him as the lone liquor shop here would be one among the first to be shut down under the state’s new liquor policy.
The new policy allows only 20 five-star hotels in the state to serve liquor. From Oct 2 this year, all Sundays will be dry days. Of the 383 state-owned retail liquor shops, 10 percent will close down each year paving way for Kerala to achieve complete prohibition by Oct 2, 2023.
Among the 39 retail liquor shops to be shut down under the first batch Sep 30, one is located at Njaliakuzhy area, six km from Chandy’s residence here.
A tippler said: “No, this is not fair, our legislator is no doubt a good man but the closing down of this outlet is not going to augur well among tipplers… we will have to travel a distance of at least 13 km to reach the next outlet.”
A local resident, who did not wish to be identified, said: “As this outlet is going to be closed, we have informed regular tipplers to assemble in front of the shop Sep 30 around 9 p.m, when the shutters come down for the last time,”
“…Anyway, none of us is happy with this outlet closing down,” he told IANS.
Asked about unhappiness expressed by his voters, the chief minister told IANS: “The decision of the shops that will be closed down is being made by the Kerala State Beverages Corporation. They are the ones to decide.”
When asked if he got any representation from his voters on the issue, Chandy laughed and said: “No, not yet”.