Janata Dal (United) president Nitish Kumar on Sunday challenged UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav to impose ban on liquor in the state.
Addressing a rally and political convention at Bhulai-ka-Pura in Phulpur, Kumar promised a blanket ban on liquor in UP if his party was voted to power in the state.
Expressing sorrow over hooch tragedy in Etah in which 21 people lost their lives, he said liquor was responsible for many social evils and great leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Ram Manohar Lohia, Dr BR Ambedkar and Karpoori Thakur campaigned against liquor.
“It is through their inspiration that the Bihar government implemented a complete ban on liquor. The initiative is showing a positive impact on the society. Due to its success, people are inviting us from all parts of the country,” he said.
Kumar said that liquor ban actually helped a state develop and added that simple steps could prevent financial losses to sugarcane farmers as well.
“Ethanol is being imported for ethanol-blended petrol in the country. The government can easily protect farmers from suffering financial loss incurred through liquor ban by simply producing ethanol in the state itself through molasses,” he said.
He said that when Narendra Modi was the chief minister of Gujarat, he imposed a ban on liquor in the state.
“His responsibility has increased and he should implement liquor ban at least in BJP-ruled states. The BJP has made only tall promises and has failed to keep them,” he added.
He said that effective steps should be taken to protect crops from blue bull menace.
Kumar blamed the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party for using the principles and ideologies of Ram Manohar Lohia and Dr Ambedkar for garnering votes.
“SP and BSP are indirectly helping BJP which is simply pitting one against the other for political gains,” he said.
Kumar also promised reservation for women in government jobs.
Senior JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav dubbed Phulpur as the land of revolutionaries.