MNS Chief Raj Thackeray wrote to CM Uddhav Thackeray seeking reopening of liquor shops in the state.(ANI Photo/File)
MNS Chief Raj Thackeray wrote to CM Uddhav Thackeray seeking reopening of liquor shops in the state.(ANI Photo/File)

Raj Thackeray advises Uddhav Thackeray to open liquor shops during lockdown

Raj Thackeray says state shouldn’t get caught up in moral considerations and open liquor shops, a major source of revenue for the state.
Hindustan Times, Mumbai | By Naresh Kamath
UPDATED ON APR 23, 2020 08:19 PM IST

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Shiv Sena Raj Thackeray has demanded the opening of liquor shops to generate revenue for the cash strapped state government.

Raj Thackeray in his letter to his cousin and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray stressed that the state should not be caught in moral issues and should ensure the opening of liquor shops.

Raj said that it was uncertain how long this lockdown will continue. “In such times, by keeping open the wine shops, the state will start getting a bit of revenue. By keeping the wine shops open does not mean we are catering to the needs or looking after alcohol consumers. The only reason behind this is to start the process of income flow into the shrinking revenue of the state,” said Raj.

He justified his stance saying that the state generates a liquor duty of Rs 1250 crore monthly which translates into Rs 14,000 crore annually and has already lost a substantial amount in this lockdown period.

He further said that the state should not be caught in moral issues as there is no liquor ban in the state. He signed off the letter saying the state should seriously consider his plea in order to become economically reliant in such an environment.

Earlier actor Rishi Kapoor had also demanded that the wine shops be kept open in view of depression and uncertainty all around and also outlined that the Government desperately needs money.

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The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) regretted the stance taken by the MNS. “Right now the priority should be food and medical care for the poor, as well as to ensure that migrants are sent home safely. As usuaal, Raj Thackeray focuses on non issues. Now it is about liquor, which is very sad,” rued Priti Sharma Menon, AAP National spokesperson.

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