Patna, Apr 3 (PTI) Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today welcomed the Supreme Court’s order banning the sale of liquor along national highways and efforts in different states in support of prohibition.
However, he said such “piecemeal attempts” will not serve any purpose and the solution lies in a total liquor ban, and appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to implement prohibition in the country.
“You (Modi) continued with liquor ban in Gujarat during 12 years as chief minister of that state … Implement this across the country. It will be a true tribute to Mahatama Gandhi when the country celebrates hundred years of Champaran Satyagraha (1917-1918) against British rule.
“To begin with, at least order a complete ban on liquor sale in the BJP-ruled states,” he said while speaking to reporters.
Seeking to allay fears of other state governments over loss of revenue due to prohibition, Kumar, who banned sale and consumption of alcohol in the state last year, said: “We ignore the fact that revenue loss due to ban on the sale of liquor is compensated by the increase in sale of other items, bought from the money saved by not spending on alcohol.” Highlighting the increase in the sale of milk, ready-made garments and household items among others in Bihar after the liquor ban, he said revenue collection in Bihar in 2016-17 was “more or less equal” to that in 2015-16, when liquor used to fetch around Rs 5,000 crore annually.
“Act courageously and you will not lose financially” is his message to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
He said he told the same to his West Bengal and Chhattisgarh counterparts Mamata Banerjee and Raman Singh.
The Prime Minister had at an event in Patna in January appreciated Bihar’s decision to completely ban the sale of liquor.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.