Representational image. (AP)
Representational image. (AP)

MP order seeking proposal for opening new liquor shops sparks controversy

Former chief minister and Bharatiya Janata Party senior leader Uma Bharti opposed the proposal and demanded a ban on the sale of liquor in all BJP-ruled states
PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 04:53 PM IST

The Madhya Pradesh government’s order asking all district collectors to send proposals for opening new liquor shops has stirred a controversy in the state.

Former chief minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) senior leader Uma Bharti opposed the proposal and demanded a ban on the sale of liquor in all BJP-ruled states. Congress leaders also attacked the government for promoting consumption of liquor.

Excise department commissioner Rajeev Chandra Dubey on Thursday released an order to collectors of all districts to send a proposal for opening new liquor shops after identifying the areas where there are no shops.

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“The collectors should send a proposal to increase at least 20% liquor shops in every district. The collectors should identify new area to open shops to control crime and increase revenue collection. The collectors should send the proposal within two days,” said the order.

Home department minister Narottam Mishra supported the decision of opening of new shops to stop the sale of illicit liquor, especially in rural areas

After this order, Mishra said, “This is a regular annual practice so it is nothing controversial.”

“As compared to other states, there are fewer liquor shops in MP and due to this, the business of illicit liquor is flourishing. We are not promoting consumption of liquor but controlling the crime of illicit liquor-making,” he said.

The order was released a day after chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan denied that new liquor vends would be opened in the state. The CM had said, “The government doesn’t have any plan to open new liquor shops. The decision will be taken only on the basis of feelings of common people.”

Uma Bharti said, “It is wrong to open new shops. I urged BJP national president JP Nadda to ban the sale of liquor in all BJP-ruled states.”

“I know liquor shops are one of the important sources of revenue collection but government should think about some new sources of income,” she added.

Congress MLA and former minister PC Sharma said, “The chief minister is denying the opening of new shops in the state while the home minister is openly saying that new shops should be opened. This is the double standard of BJP-led state government. Rather than dissuading people from consuming liquor, MP government is planning to promote it.”

Meanwhile, 28 people died after consuming illicit liquor in Morena in the past two weeks.

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