Amid rising questions over Nitish Kumar government’s policy on alcohol ban in Bihar, here comes the surprising statements of the Janta Dal United Parliamentary Board President Upendra Kushwaha and Hindustani Awam Morcha chief Jeetanram Manjhi to the media.
Kushwaha put the onus of responsibility to say no to alcohol on the general public while Manjhi questioned the implementation of the policy and rising corruption in the wake of prohibition.
The duo seemed to have scored a self-goal questioning their own government’s policy. JDU and Manjhi’s Awam Morcha are part of the ruling Mahagathbandhan government in Bihar.
“Only making the policy by the government will not help in curtailing alcohol consumption, people must come forward and start saying no to alcohol consumption and selling of liquor. If there is no marketing then the consumption will automatically shut down,” said JDU chief Upendra Kushwaha.
“An alcohol ban is not bad, but the implementation of alcohol ban policy has several loopholes. Big traders are becoming rich day by day by making use of lackadaisical implementation. Poor people are unnecessarily getting trapped in this whole implementation discrepancy. The one who is going to jail is the one who has consumed a small amount of liquor. 70 per cent of the arrests in this ban belong to the poor category,” said Hindustani Awam Morcha chief Jeetanram Manjhi.
He further added that the administration should avoid punishing such innocent people and target blackmarketeers.
In a reactionary statement over Upendra Kushwaha’s utterances, Leader of Opposition in the Bihar assembly Vijay Sinha said, “We support the liquor ban in Bihar and want to make Bihar alcohol-free state. Current government’s whole system has failed in implementing the policy. Because of the corrupt system in which an officer pays a huge amount to become in-charge of the police station, we cannot expect that they will fairly implement the policies.”
Sinha added that not only has the liquor ban policy has failed, the loopholes in it has led to the mushrooming of a new class of young criminals who are raking in the moolah, buying expensive properties just by bootlegging.