Jharkhand Ministers, opposition slam government move to sell liquor
Ranchi, Feb 22 (IANS) Opposition parties as well as some Ministers in Jharkhand have opposed the Raghubar Das government's move to sell liquor through its own outlets to generate revenue.
According to sources, three Ministers have opposed the government move to sell liquor when the issue came during a cabinet meeting on Tuesday.
Jharkhand Urban Development Minister C.P. Singh, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Saryu Rai and Water Resources Minister and alliance partner All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) legislator Chadra Prakash Chaudhary opposed the cabinet noting of selling of liquor by the state government.
"The state government's image will be dented after the cabinet approves the proposal," Saryu Rai reportedly said in the cabinet meeting.
Minister C.P. Singh is reported to have asked, "What is the guarantee that the state will generate more resources by running liquor shops."
The Jharkhand cabinet on Tuesday approved the proposal of the excise department that the state government would sell liquor in the state.
"The Jharkhand cabinet meeting on Tuesday gave its approval of selling liquor by the state government. Jharkhand State Beverages Corporation Ltd will sell the liquor from August 1," Avinash Kumar, state Excise Secretary, told reporters.
The Jharkhand government has taken the decision to generate more resources through selling liquor. The district administrations have been asked to find shops and make arrangements to sell the liquor.
However, liquor shop owners are protesting the state government move. In Jharkhand there are more than 1,400 liquor shops and after the state government decision more than 5,000 people will become jobless.
Opposition parties have also criticized the state government move.
"The Jharkhand government will buy land for industrialists and sell liquor. What kind of state government is this which is not bothered about the people of the state," Hemant Soren, former Chief Minister and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), executive president told reporters.
"(BJP President) Amit Shah during his campaign in Uttar Pradesh boasted of getting river of milk, and now in Jharkhand the BJP-led state government will sell liquor for money. The Prime Minister appreciated Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for banning liquor. Why is he silent at the Raghubar Das government's move to sell liquor," Alok Dubey, General Secretary of Jharkhand Congress, told IANS.