Chennai: A city hotel had to give up holding a beer-drinking competition following protests by the volunteers the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of the BJP, arguing that the contest was illegal as it promoted consumption of alcohol.
Radisson Blu on Ethiraj Salai had prominently exhibited its banner announcing the beer competition at its Octofiesta bar between 12 noon and 2 pm on Sunday.
“Calling all beer lovers to team up in groups of 5 and drink up at the beer drinking relay. Exciting gift hampers for the winners and best cheering team”, said the banner. It also announced that the entry fee would be `2500 per team (of five).
But the cheering was not to be. A group of ABVP volunteers arrived at the hotel with flags and demanded that the beer competition be dropped. “We told the hotel that the contest was illegal as it promoted consumption of alcohol.
They argued saying the hotel has a bar licence but I reminded them that the licence was only to serve liquor to its clients but not to hold competitions on drinking”, said BJP senior functionary R. Kalyanaraman.
He said the hotel called the police, who initially tried to convince the ABVP to let the beer competition happen. “We insisted that the competition was illegal and finally, a sub-inspector landed at the hotel and told the management that the competition was against law and must not be held”, said the saffron campaigner.
“The ABVP members insisted that the beer competition was illegal. Finding substance in that argument, we told the hotel to give up its beer competition plan”, Mr Kalitheerthan, assistant commission of police, Egmore, told DC.
Mr Kalyanaraman recalled that about 200 ABVP volunteers had sat in protest-fasting at Valluvar Kottam on Thursday demanding total prohibition in the state.
“Eight ABVP members were arrested on Saturday and let off in the evening after they burnt the Pakistani flag in protest against the border firing”, he said, stressing that the saffron party and its subsidiaries are stepping up their public agitations “on principled issues”....