(Image: For Representation Purpose Only)
PATNA: One day after review of the implementation of the state’s prohibition policy done by CM Nitish Kumar, the RJD brass led by leader of opposition in the state assembly Tejashwi Prasad Yadav on Wednesday mocked the exercise and the decisions taken. They even fell short of demanding that the prohibition policy be revoked.
While the hooch has claimed over 65 lives this month, the mafia elements run a liquor smuggling network, which has spread down to the village level.
To short-circuit the import, distribution and consumption of the illegally procured liquor, a slew of decisions was taken at the Tuesday’s meeting while activating the village-level chowkidars to pass on the information about liquor availability and consumption in their villages concerned.
Calling the review meeting as “so-called,” Tejashwi, who had raised 15 questions on Tuesday, tweeted on Wednesday: “If he (read CM) is serious about prohibition, then he should not have feared the real questions that reflect the ground reality, nor should he shy away from them.”
Unlike Tejashwi, senior RJD functionary and former Rajya Sabha member Shivanand Tiwary mocked at not only the prohibition policy, but also called it impractical and shorn of any proper assessment of the ground situation.
“If a leader is strong, he will get the proper impact assessment of his policy done. If the impact is negative, he withdraws the policy. Unlike that, a weak leader, fearing the likely dent in his image and authority, becomes adamant on continuing the policy even if it is flawed,” Tiwary said, falling short of saying that the prohibition policy should be withdrawn.
He suggested that the Nitish government had failed in the implementation of the prohibition policy and, in fact, the policy is flawed and has failed in preventing the consumption of liquor in the state.
In contrast, road construction department minister Nitin Navin said the CM’s review meeting was aimed at toning up the police force and the administration, as laxity in implementing the prohibition will not be tolerated. “Our government is transparent. Mass awareness campaign will also be conducted,” Navin said, and upbraided Tejashwi saying that “only those who indulge in wrongdoing will say that the prohibition policy has failed.”
But, citing the National Family Health Survey report, Tiwary said more liquor is consumed in Bihar than in Maharashtra, which is not a dry state. “Between 2005 and 2016, the Nitish government first made the Biharis habitual liquor consumer, and then imposed the prohibition policy,” Tiwary said, adding that the CM should explain the number of outlets which were selling foreign and country liquor in the state before the imposition of the prohibition policy and also the quantum of revenue loss that the government has suffered.
While around 3 lakh poor and Dalits have been put behind bars, it has also put an additional burden on the police force that has neglected the basic policing duty regarding crime control and police investigation, as also on the courts and the state’s prisons, he said.