Social activist and Gandhian Anna Hazare announced an indefinite hunger strike from February 14 over the Maharashtra government’s decision to sell wine in supermarkets and walk-in stores. Hazare has written a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister announcing the hunger strike.
“If the government does not take back the decision to sell wine considering the sentiments of the workers and the people across the state, then we have to agitate…I will have to start an indefinite hunger strike from February 14 at the Yadav Baba temple at Ralegan Siddhi,” stated the letter. “The decision appears to have been taken solely in view of the growing revenue of the state and the interests of wine growers and sellers. But the government does not seem to think that this decision can lead to young children becoming addicted to young people and women may also suffer due this decision,” it added.
Hazare said that he has already sent two ‘reminder letters’ to the Chief Minister over the issue but no reply has been received yet. Hazare also informed in the letter that a meeting of like-minded activists of various social organizations in the state will be held at Ralegan Siddhi soon. “At that time the direction of the movement will be decided,” said the letter.
Maharashtra government has cleared a proposal to sell wine in supermarkets and walk-in stores across the state at a flat annual licensing fee of Rs 5,000. According to the state cabinet, the decision is aimed at ensuring a more accessible marketing channel for Indian wineries.