Recently, Tamil Nadu has seen a number of anti-liquor protests turning violent, and the movement seems to be spreading to neighbouring states as well.
In Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, 200 women gathered at a wine shop and protested for its removal. The incident happened in Piduguralla mandal, at Janaapadu, where women raised slogans and later took out a procession from Janaapadu to the excise police station.
According to TOI, they also made to the excise inspector, Buchi Babu and presented their demand for the closure of the wine shop.
Protests against liquor shops have also been ongoing in other places in the state as well. In Nutakki village in Guntur, women have been on a hunger strike for seven days. AP Mahila Samkhya secretary P Durga Bhavani said that the women were demanding to shift the liquor shop in vain.
Several women activists have alleged alcohol shops in human settlements is causing difficulties to women and girl students.
According to local media, Guntur, Krishna and Anantapur districts in the state have also witnessed widespread protests demanding a shut down of liquor shops.
Social activists led by the United Forum of Anti-liquor Organisations have also vowed to intensify their protests against liquor shops. âWe will make the social menace of liquor a main poll issue in 2019 by focussing on struggles against setting up of liquor shops,â said convenor V. Lakshmana Reddy, reported The Hindu.
Taking cognizance of the anti-liquor sentiment, YSR Congress President Y S Jaganmohan Reddy also said on Sunday that he would be implementing prohibition in a phased manner if elected to power in the 2019 state election.
The prohibition would be enforced in three phases, Reddy said. It would begin with complete shut down of unauthorized liquor vends in villages, followed by an intensive campaign against the ills of liquor consumption.
"Simultaneously, we will increase liquor prices to such a level that only crorepatis will be able to buy it. And then we will ban liquor completely in the state," Reddy said. He added that Rs 15,000 crore will be allotted to womenâs self-help groups.
However, not every politician agrees. Recently, AP Excise Minister KS Jawahar reportedly called beer a âhealth drinkâ and even offered to prove its benefits.