Union food processing minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal and her husband, deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, on Saturday differed on prohibition in Punjab.
While Harsimrat favoured a ban on liquor, Sukhbir, who is also president of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), argued that any restrictive policy leads to corruption.
“Today, if you look at Gujarat, there is more liquor consumed there than anywhere else. The more you start becoming restrictive, the more problems it creates,” Sukhbir said.
The remarks, made during a freewheeling chat at PowerCouple@ht, an event organised by Hindustan Times, are important in the backdrop of the drug problem in Punjab and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s praise for Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar’s prohibition policy at a public meeting in Patna on Thursday to celebrate the 350th birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh.
Both Sukhbir and Harsimrat were dismissive of the Aam Aadmi Party, seeing the Congress as their main opponent.
“It was a craze about a year-and-a-half back because it was something new. Punjabis love new things... then the reality of (Arvind) Kejriwal came in the open,” the SAD chief said.