Nitish said after successful enforcement of liquor ban in Bihar in April 2016, he had made a fervent appeal to all chief ministers and heads of political parties having governments in any state, for putting a complete ban on production and sale of liquor in their respective states to protect poor families from being ruined due to consumption of alcohol.
“Today, when so many people have died in two states (due to illicit liquor) I once again request all chief ministers including UP’s Yogi Adityanath and Uttarakhand’s Trivendra Singh Rawat to put a complete ban on liquor in their states,” Nitish told reporters at his chamber in the Bihar assembly.
He further said he had in 2016 asked the Samajwadi Party chief and then UP CM Akhilesh Yadav to enforce liquor ban in the neighbouring state, but he could not do. “I had even once suggested Yogi to enforce ban in UP,” Nitish, who is also the JD(U) president, said.
“In many states, members of civil society and women’s groups are already agitating for complete ban on production and sale of liquor. Several women groups are up in arms against liquor in Jharkhand, Chhatisgarh and Odisha. I frequently get invitation and call from other states for addressing anti-liquor rallies. But now since such a huge number of people have died due to consumption of liquor, it is high time all CMs should take note of the unfortunate happening and act in the direction of enforcing ban,” Bihar CM said.
Nitish also recalled how PM Narendra Modi had once praised his decision of putting complete ban on liquor in Bihar and had termed the decision as a “courageous step.”
“Bringing social change is a very tough thing, yet he has shown a ‘remarkable ability’ in implementing total prohibition. I want to request everyone in Bihar to remember it’s not only Nitish Kumar’s task but that of society as a whole to improve, and if this policy is successful in Bihar, the whole country will be inspired,” PM Modi had said while addressing a public meeting to celebrate the 350th birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th guru of the Sikhs, at Patna’s Gandhi Maidan on January 5, 2017.
On being asked whether he would make an appeal to PM Modi for enforcing liquor ban in all the BJP-ruled states, Nitish said the Centre has no role to play in enforcing ban on liquor. “It is a state matter, and the state governments would have to act,” he said.
Earlier while addressing a public meeting at Medininagar in Jharkhand on June 19, 2016, two days ahead of the International Yoga Day, Nitish had then urged PM Midi to impose prohibition across the country as those addicted to alcohol cannot perform yoga which requires concentration.
“Yoga was a natural treatment process but liquor addicts cannot perform it. Yoga would be meaningless unless a ban was imposed on sale of liquor across the country,” Nitish had then said.