Chhatisgarh: MLA Sharma's statement on liqour ban puts Bhupesh Baghel govt on back-foot

Chhatisgarh: MLA Sharma's statement on liqour ban puts Bhupesh Baghel govt on back-foot

Sharma, head of liquor ban recommendation committee says, it's not a public, but BJP issue; opposition, activists point at Congress manifesto.

AVDHESH MALLICKUpdated: Thursday, September 22, 2022, 08:21 PM IST
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Bhupesh Baghel, CM of Chhattisgarh | File photo

Raipur: Head of liquor ban recommendation committee for Chhattisgarh, MLA Satyanarayan Sharma landed the Bhupesh Baghel government in a limbo. While speaking to the media on the issue Sharma said, “Complete liquor ban is not a public issue; it might be issue of Bhartiya Janata Party."

Not only this, the senior Congress MLA also challenged the BJP to ban the liquor sale in their respective states.

"Instead of speaking on price hike, inflation, unemployment, BJP leaders intentionally rake in the issue of liquor ban in Chhattisgarh, which is a non-issue in public. BJP adopted the tactics to divert the attention of the public on essential issues," the MLA said.

After he made a controversial statement, it pushed the impregnable Baghel government on back-foot and provoked infuriated BJP leaders who were looking for a chance to counter the ruling government on an issue. As a result, the major opposition party launched a series of scathing attacks on the Baghel government.

"It is the Congress party which mentioned in its election manifesto to implement complete liquor ban in the state. More than three and half years passed but no steps have been taken in this regard," Leader of Opposition, Narayan Chandel asked. "Instead of imposing liquor ban, the Baghel government-initiated door-to-door liquor service during Covid period," he added.

BJP State President Arun Sao said, "Breaching public trust is a prominent nature of Baghel government. This is a will-less government which failed to fulfil public aspirations."

Civil society groups who have been running this campaign against liqour for years years also frowned upon Sharma’s statement. Social-cum-political activist Durga Jha asked, "If liquor ban is not an issue, then what compelled Congress to include it in its manifesto. It is quite apparent either Congress leaders are confused over the issue, or they want to deceive the public," Jha said.

Senior journalist Abhishek Dubey said liquor sale is a cash cow. "It gives more than Rs 6000 crore revenue per annum. And for any government to lose such a big chunk of funds is not an easy task. In my opinion, the inclusion of the subject complete liquor ban into the election manifesto was a trump card for the Congress party to gain political mileage," the journalist said.

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