Chhattisgarh: War of words ensues between ruling Congress and BJP over online sale of liquor

AVDHESH MALLICKUpdated: Tuesday, May 11, 2021, 10:43 PM IST
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Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel | (PTI Photo)

Raipur, May 11: Home delivery of liquor in the state through online sale during the ongoing coronavirus-enforced lockdown has now ensued a war of words between the ruling Congress and major opposition party BJP in Chhattisgarh.

BJP criticized the ruling Congress decision over the online liquor sale, claiming that it seems the state government's priority was to provide liquor to people instead of medical facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ex-Minister Raman Singh accused Baghel government of downplaying the people’s interest for money gain.

He tweeted to Rahul Gandhi saying that Chhattisgarh is also part of this country where disorder and chaos has overtaken the system. Here for testing there is queue, for admission in hospital, there is queue, for oxygen there is queue, even for medicine and vaccine, there is a queue but liquor is available online. This real identification of Congress party, he alleged.

Notably, the state commercial taxes department in an order on Saturday gave permission to the excise commissioner to allow home delivery of liquor through online orders from 9 am to 8 pm.

“The Chhattisgarh State Marketing Corporation Limited (CSMCL) has been given authority to make feasible home delivery of liquor to the customers against advance payment,” one excise department officials said.

Customers are allowed to book five litres of liquor at a time and Rs 100 will be charged for home delivery service, the official said. The state government had also allowed online sale of liquor in May last year.

Chhattisgarh Excise Minister Kawasi Lakhma on Saturday said in view of incidents of illegal sale of liquor and deaths after consumption of sanitisers and alcohol-based medicines as a substitute for liquor, the government permitted the home delivery service of liquor.

Surprisingly, on Monday, just a day after the Chhattisgarh government allowed online sale and home delivery of liquor in the state, the CSMCL website crashed due to overbooking. Despite it, liquor of Rs 4 crore sold in the state in a single day.

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