PATNA: Taking a U-turn from its previous stand, RJD on Wednesday said it would enforce total prohibition in Bihar with strictness, if it is voted to power in next assembly election.
“We are in favour of ‘Nasha-mukti’ (de-addiction). We will enforce total prohibition with all strictness, if our party comes to power.” Leader of opposition in Bihar assembly and RJD senior Tejashwi Prasad Yadav told reporters after releasing a 72-page booklet titled “Peoples’ charge-sheet against Nitish Kumar government” at his residence here. The booklet highlights alleged failures of the JD(U)-BJP coalition government on different fronts.
Just two months ago, the RJD’s national vice- president Raghuvansh Prasad Singh had said that prohibition norms in Bihar would be relaxed if his party comes to power. “Prohibition will remain in place but severe norms such as confiscation of house and imprisonment of 10 years will be removed. If RJD forms the next government, then neither police will use breath- analysers nor cause any other kind unnecessary harassment to people in the name of prohibition,” Raghuvansh had told reporters on January 30, adding that such announcements would be incorporated in the manifesto of RJD in the upcoming elections.
Criticising Nitish government for its failure to check inflow of smuggled liquors from other states, Tejashwi also said prohibition has completely flopped across the state. “If one goes through the reports published in newspapers and shown in different news channels, bottles of liquors are easily available everywhere in the state. There is system of home delivery. People are easily procuring liquors from illegal vendors because of the government’s utter failure to enforce total prohibition,” he said.
Referring to the recent incident of crushing to death of nine school children by a drunken BJP leader in Muzaffarour district’s Minapur block, Tejashwi said, “Liquor bottles are so easily available that BJP leaders are openly consuming it and killing children by crushing them under their vehicle.”
He said altogether 1.20 lakh people have so far been sent to jail in the name of enforcement of prohibition. “Majority of these people are from poor families. Only those poor people are going to the jails who cannot secure bail from the courts,” he said.
Tejashwi said, besides all other fronts, Nitish government completely failed to check large scale smuggling of liquors from other states. “Why the state government not tracing the source of the smuggled liquors?” he asked.