Bihar govt makes an U-turn on pre-poll promise of prohibition
The Nitish Kumar-led Bihar government appears to be going back on its pre-poll promise of introducing prohibition in the state.
On November 26 soon after being sworn in for the fifth time as the Chief Minister of Bihar, Nitish Kumar had declared that a blanket ban on sale of alcohol would be imposed in the state from the next financial year.
However, the government is now considering allowing the Bihar State Beverage Corporation Limited (BSBCL) to start retail operations in municipal and Nagar Parishad limits. At present the BSBCL only runs wholesale operations of Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL).
Kumar’s pre-poll promise of full prohibition will only be implemented in rural areas, where women had complained of alcoholism-related domestic violence and other troubles. Sale alcoholic beverage is to be banned in village panchayat limits.
Hindustan Times reports that the state government local dailies carried state government advertisements on Thursday, inviting tenders for retail shops within municipal limits.
HT report also says that the advertisements came after a meeting between delegations of IMFL sellers with ally RJD chief Lalu Prasad at his residence on Wednesday.
Reacting to this, “A series of self-contradictory statements is coming up on the prohibition issue — talks of complete ban, Lalu Prasad meeting liquor sellers’ delegation, BSBCL looking for godowns and retail sale. Different postures put a question mark on the government’s commitment,” tweeted senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi.
JD (U) leader and a former minister Shyam Rajak, defended the government told HT, “There is no difference in acts and commitment of chief minister Nitish Kumar.”