Thiruvananthapuram: Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala has opened a Pandora’s box by saying that the bar policy had not helped the UDF government in the last elections. In an interview given to a Malayalam weekly magazine, he said that the KPCC should reconsider the bar policy. However, KPCC president V. M. Sudheeran said that Mr Chennithala’s comments will have to be discussed in the party forum. Muslim League general secretary K. P. A. Majeed said there was no need for a rethinking on the liquor policy.
Mr Chennithala called for a discussion in the Congress party on the liquor policy and added he will present his views at the appropriate time. “Though the liquor policy was brought forward to bring down the consumption of liquor, it is doubtful how far society has benefited out of it,” said Mr Chennithala in the interview. Mr Sudheeran said the UDF government’s liquor policy was a collective decision.
There was no need for reviewing it, he said and added that he will hold detailed talks with Mr Chennithala on the issue. “I cannot comment on it hastily. I think Chennithala may discuss it when the issue comes up in the party forum,” he said. Excise Minister T.P. Ramakrishnan asked Mr Chennithala to clarify whether his stand was the same as that of the Congress and the UDF. “Chennithala’s statements mean that the liquor policy of the government was botched up. He must have made that statement after realising failure of the liquor ban,” Mr Ramakrishnan told reporters in Kozhikode.
“The LDF’s policy is not liquor ban. The liquor ban will not help the people. What is required is abstinence from liquor and not its ban,” he said. “Liquor reaches Kerala through different channels. the liquor consumption has only increased. The LDF government will take steps to reduce the huge crowds in front of beverage shops. The liquor sale system followed in developed countries will be implemented,” he said. He also asked the Muslim League to make public its stand.
IUML reiterates support for liquor policy
Muslim League is stern on the new liquor police which the UDF formulated, party state general secretary K.P.A. Majeed has said. He was speaking to Media persons on the sidelines of a party event here on Tuesday. “We do not believe that the liquor policy of the UDF was the reason for its poor performance in the last Assembly elections,” he said. About the statement made by opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala on the liquor policy to a Malayalam weekly, he said that it was the UDF that would take decisions on policies including that on liquor.