Hyderabad: The two-day ‘mahila sankalpa deekhsa’ (hunger strike against liquor), proposed by senior BJP leader D.K. Aruna has raised eyebrows among both her own party and the TRS. Ms Aruna announced that she had decided to hold a hunger strike in protest against the increase in number of liquor shops, promoted by the government with a sole view to augment the state’s income, oblivious to its biggest social consequence – a rise in crimes against women. The relay hunger strike is scheduled to be held on December 12 and 13 at Indira Park in the city.
TRS women MLAs strongly reacted to the call, saying that it was Ms Aruna’s habit to seek publicity by giving a frivolous protest call whenever she changes parties. They asked why Ms Aruna could not convince the government when she was in power during the Congress era to impose prohibition. They alleged that instead, while they were agitating for imposing of prohibition in the state, Ms Aruna, as a minister, did not respond positively. The TRS women MLAs said that there was no need to respond to a call given by Ms Aruna now.
Ms Satyavati Rathod told Deccan Chronicle that she felt the women would not support Ms Aruna because she was the wife of a liquor contractor. Ms G. Sunitha, government whip, reminded that the family of Ms Aruna used to run a distillery earlier, and her family was involved in tax evasion cases. Ms Sunitha dared Ms Aruna to openly state whether or not she had met Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao and requested him to bail out her family from tax evasion cases. Ms Sunitha said it was common for the Opposition to fight against the ruling party but people like Ms Aruna, whose family was involved in running liquor and belt shops, calling for prohibition would be dismissed as a ‘silly ploy’.
Members of the BJP Mahila Morcha are in a dilemma on whether or not to support Ms Aruna. “We must be seen supporting any move against liquor, especially as women are worst victims of crime by drunken males. But we know it is just a game of one-upwomanship,” said a BJP woman leader....