BJP, Cong demands rollback of AAP government's new excise policy

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New Delhi, Mar 23 (PTI) The Delhi units of the BJP and the Congress on Tuesday demanded that the AAP government rolls back its new excise policy, that cut the legal drinking age from 25 to 21 years, saying it could ruin the youth of the national capital.

Leading a protest at Shahdara against the new excise policy, the BJP's Delhi unit president Adesh Gupta alleged that the Arvind Kejriwal government is 'pushing youths towards alcoholism to increase revenue'.

'While the BJP is organising programmes to inculcate the patriotism among youth, the Kejriwal government is them pushing towards liquor consumption,' Gupta was quoted as saying in a statement.

At the protest, BJP workers burnt the effigy of Kejriwal.

Gupta wondered whether the Kejriwal government is unmindful of the fact that more liquor shops would not only lead to an increase in the crime rate in Delhi, but also make it the liquor capital.

'Did Delhiites elect him for this day? he posed.

Gupta said in the statement that the right thing would have been for the government to tighten liquor policy to make Delhi safe for women and keep youngsters away from the liquor.

It seems the Kejriwal government values revenue more than the safety of women or saving the youngsters from drinking, he claimed, adding if the chief minister really wants to do something he should provide clean water, fight pollution, lay more sewer lines and improve infrastructure.

Senior Congress leader and former legislator Alka Lamba said the new excise policy of the Delhi government, intended to boost the revenue collection by an additional Rs 2,000 crore, will not only ruin the lives of the youth, but many families as well.

According to a statement released by the Delhi Congress, it workers, under the leadership of DPCC president Anil Kumar, will protest outside the residence of the chief minister on Wednesday against the excise policy.

Lamba said the Congress party strongly objects to this 'destructive' policy and demanded its rollback. The minimum age for drinking was pegged at 25 years with a specific purpose, as by then most young people would be in a position to take mature decisions, she said.

'Rajiv Gandhi gave voting rights to 18-year-olds while the Kejriwal government was giving liquor bottles to the youth of the national capital,' she said. PTI NIT NSD NSD