Doon mayor to take on govt over booze sale
Incidentally, the Trivendra Singh Rawat-led BJP government has increased the excise target of liquor sale from Rs 1,905 crore in 2016-17 to Rs 2,310 crore for this fiscal.dehradun Updated: Sep 16, 2017 21:21 IST
DEHRADUN: Having already left the BJP government red-faced once, Dehradun mayor and party MLA Vinod Chamoli now plans to confront the administration over the issue of liquor menace in the upcoming assembly session.
The BJP leader, who was elected as an MLA on Dehradun’s Dharampur seat, will ask the government whether it has any plan in place for introducing a liquor ban in the state. Incidentally, the Trivendra Singh Rawat-led BJP government has increased the excise target of liquor sale from Rs 1,905 crore in 2016-17 to Rs 2,310 crore for this fiscal.
After protests from locals, Chamoli along with his supporters had sat on a dharna at the district collectorate to seek closure of a liquor shop in his constituency on September 6. He got embroiled in a controversy after heated arguments with district magistrate SA Murugesan and later with Rawat over the matter, a video of which went viral on the social media. The ruling party was quick to distance itself from the controversy involving Chamoli in which he was seen targeting the functioning of the BJP government.
The mayor eventually succeeded in getting the liquor shop closed through the government’s intervention, but it reopened within a few days after a stay from the court.
An enraged Chamoli has prepared a list of questions to be placed before the assembly, with some ‘tough queries’ for the government on its plan to ban liquor in Uttarakhand and for revoking cases slapped on the people who protested against opening of liquor shops in their areas.
His attempt is likely to further embarrass the ruling party, especially ahead of BJP chief Amit Shah’s upcoming visit to Uttarakhand. But Chamoli asserted it was his “social responsibility” to raise voice on the matter with which “intense public sentiments” were attached.
“Besides being a member of the party, I’m also a public representative and have the social responsibility of voicing the concerns of my people. There is a strong wave in favour of liquor ban among locals...even if the government plans to increase revenue through liquor business, it shouldn’t be done by forcing the people to accept liquor shops in their areas,” the mayor told HT.