Hinting that the party’s manifesto for the May 16 Tamil Nadu assembly polls may include lifting the toddy tapping ban, BJP alleged on Thursday that there was a deep nexus between distilleries and successive governments in the state.
“There is a deep nexus between distilleries, state-run TASMAC liquor shops and politics for the last few years in Tamil Nadu,” BJP general secretary Muralidhar Rao told reporters in Coimbatore.
“Considering this, the party will caution the Election Commission to be vary with the kind of money which is coming from distilleries,” Rao said.
Asked whether BJP, which is for prohibition, would lift the two decade ban on toddy, he said the party did not equate toddy with TASMAC liquor, Indian Made Foreign Liquor, beer or any other drinks.
When pressed for an answer, he said “I have given you enough hints that the manifesto, to be released in another 10 days, will have important issues.”
Stating that the assembly election was going to be an important one not only for the state, but also for the nation, he said corruption was going to be a big issue.
BJP was the only party qualified to say it would give a corruption-free government in Tamil Nadu, based on the performance of the central government and other BJP-ruled states, he said.
BJP, which has released the first list of 54 candidates, would focus more on western region, which has the potential to be the engine of growth and development in the state, he said.
However, corruption was hurting the development of industries, he alleged.
Asked about BJP’s prospects in Tamil Nadu, Rao said “the prospects are great and the future is bright. The state is passing through a transition, where old is giving way to new”.
“About 1.7 crore first time voters want participatory politics and to oust both DMK and AIADMK,” he said.
On what the Modi government has done for Tamil Nadu, he claimed its biggest achievement was the stopping of killing of fishermen from the state by Sri Lankan Navy.
He recalled that when external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj had met the Sri Lankan President last year, the number of fishermen’s casualties had touched 500. Now there was no killing of fisherman and those arrested were released in the shortest possible time, he said.
“The process of finding a comprehensive solution to the problem has already started and will be completed. There is a marked improvement in the situation and even Prime Minister Narendra Modi has visited Jaffna,” Rao said.