October 21, 2020

What next on liquor: Tejas

Patna: Leader of Opposition Tejashwi Prasad Yadav on Monday mocked at the amendment to Bihar Prohibition and Excise Act, 2018, asking chief minister Nitish Kumar if the earlier bill was brought in because of his arrogance and was wrong.

“Earlier, Nitish used to say there would be no compromise on dry laws and now he is talking of relaxation,” Tejashwi told journalists on the Assembly premises. “I’m sure he will regularise liquor soon.”

The RJD wanted to know from Nitish about the future of 1.4 lakh people arrested before the amendment. Tejashwi said the chief minister implemented prohibition in a hurry to become prime minister, but must now say what his plans are for those already arrested. “Chief minister should say why 90 per cent of those arrested under dry law are Dalits or from extremely backward or backward classes,” Tejashwi said. “Does the police not arrest the rich or do the rich not consume liquor? He claims those opposing prohibition are anti-Dalits. Is Nitish ji the messiah of Dalits by sending more than one lakh Dalits behind bars?” He cited the neera (unfermented palm sap drink) policy, under which Nitish had promised jobs, and asked how many had got jobs. “The Nitish government hit the Pasi community hard but has not provided them alternative livelihood,” Tejashwi said. “Reports say unemployed youth, even girls, are now supplying liquor. What is Nitishji’s take on this?”

He said Nitish implemented prohibition on the demand by some women “But can Nitish ji say if women wanted all their family members, including the bread-winner, behind bars,” Tejashwi asked. “Did they demand a system in which police have ties with the liquor mafia and catch only one out of 10 liquor trucks so that Nitish can praise the police? Figures show 1.4 lakh people were arrested but how many SPs, DIGs or IGs were suspended? If people are consuming liquor even after two years of dry laws, then the police are equally to blame.” He asked how liquor was reaching Patna and crossing 20 police stations in 4-5 districts to reach other parts of the state.

He asked if police officers in the districts were good for nothing. He demanded breathalyser checks on legislators in the Assembly while claiming that most of the arrested liquor suppliers belonged to the JDU or the BJP. “There is a liquor mafia syndicate and it seems it is the outcome of RCP (read Rajya Sabha member RCP Singh) model, meaning roj chahiye paisa (need money everyday),” Tejashwi alleged.

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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