Congress accuses Uttarakhand govt of ‘favouring’ liquor mafia | dehradun | Hindustan Times
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Congress accuses Uttarakhand govt of ‘favouring’ liquor mafia

The Congress on Thursday accused the Trivendra Singh Rawat-led government of “favouring” liquor mafia under the guise of a new excise policy

dehradun Updated: Mar 29, 2018 21:17 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Congress state unit president Pritam Singh  (R) took a dig at the state government for not introducing the Lokayukta Bill in the Vidhan Sabha during the budget session.
Congress state unit president Pritam Singh (R) took a dig at the state government for not introducing the Lokayukta Bill in the Vidhan Sabha during the budget session.(HT File)

The Congress on Thursday accused the Trivendra Singh Rawat-led government of “favouring” liquor mafia under the guise of a new excise policy.

“The government has purposefully decided to introduce the cluster approach for tendering of liquor vends in the state. This will directly benefit the liquor mafia because only big players will be able to participate in the process,” Congress state unit president Pritam Singh said at a press conference here.

He also took a dig at the government for not introducing the Lokayukta Bill in the Vidhan Sabha during the Budget session.

This, Singh said, was a “betrayal” of tall promises that the BJP made in the run-up to the 2017 assembly polls.

“Every day the CM recites a chant that his government has a zero-tolerance approach towards corruption. When he came to power, he promised that his government will appoint a Lokayukta within 100 days. It has now been more than one year and the government has done nothing in this regard,” he said.

Questioning the government’s intentions, the Congress leader also asked why the government was shying away from a CBI probe into the NH-74 scam.

“The demand for a CBI probe was made by the CM himself. Why is he now not living up to his demand? The main accused are unhurt and the investigation has been squeezed to probe only poor farmers and low-level officials,” he said.

During the press conference, the Congress also objected to the government’s decision to allow private medical colleges a freehand in deciding their fee structure, forcing schools to follow NCERT textbooks and not giving an audience to protesting unemployed youths in Dehradun.

“Rather than forming a committee to decide and regulate fee structure, the government has given private medical colleges to charge as per their wishes. The government has also failed to win the confidence of schools and parents regarding introduction of NECRT books. Everyone is troubled with this dictatorial attitude,” Singh said.

However, when asked about the Congress’ silence on the 200% hike in salaries of MLAs, he said, “The bill was passed by the government using its brute majority. We were opposing other issues at that time.”

He also refrained from giving any clear answer to a question whether the Congress was in favour of introducing a cap on the fee charged by private school vis-a-vis its demand for a similar regularisation for medical colleges.