Liquor issue hot in election year


It is common to hear of offering liquor to woo voters, but in Madhya Pradesh, in an election year, the opposition to liquor is taking a political form.

While former Chief Minister Uma Bharti’s influence on Madhya Pradesh’s new proposed excise policy is an example, another former Chief Minister and Congress leader Kamal Nath has said that Madhya Pradesh has become ‘Madira Pradesh’ under the leadership of Shivraj Singh Chouhan because here Liquor is cheap and food grains are expensive.

In response, Chief Minister Chouhan said that by saying this, Nath has insulted 8.5 crore innocent, hardworking and patriotic people of the state. In response, Kamal Nath and his media advisor Piyush Babele shared a screenshot of an old tweet by Chouhan in which he had said, “The Congress government in the state has taken a disastrous decision to turn Madhya Pradesh into Madira Pradesh.” They want to drown the state in the intoxication of liquor.

Under the new Excise Policy, the state government has decided to close ‘ahate’ and shop bars in the state. Uma Bharti, who took a strong stand against liquor, praised the state government for this step and termed it as a historic and revolutionary step.

Senior journalist Sandeep Puranik says, ‘This is an election year and the government was already under pressure because of Uma Bharti’s steps. She has also thrown bricks and cow dung at liquor shops. The state government has cleverly found a way out to satisfy Bharti and half of the state’s population i.e. women. A message has been given without any restriction on the sale of liquor.

In December last year, Bharti had said in an event of the Lodhi community, ‘I free the Lodhi community from political bondage. In election time I will come and tell everyone to vote for BJP as I am a loyal soldier of my party. But I will not force you to vote for BJP. I am tied to the party, not you.

The Lodhi community, another backward class, forms half of the state’s population. In the Bundelkhand region, where liquor is a major issue in rural areas, the backward class population is a deciding factor in elections.


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