Liquor ban not political goal, but to bring social change: Nitish Kumar

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Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar claimed on Saturday the ban imposed on sale of liquor by his government has checked incidence of domestic violence in the state and expressed hope it will help improve purchasing power of the people.

“There is no political goal behind the decision to impose ban on sale of liquor in Bihar, but to bring in social reform,” Kumar, who was in the Steel City to take part in Karma Mahotsav organised by a social organisation of Kurmi Community ‘Kurmi Sena’, said.

“Liquor consumers have been spending Rs 10,000 crore, which is now saved and will help improve their purchasing power,” Kumar told reporters in Jamshedpur. Liquor had ruined many families and the state had witnessed violence due to it before the ban was imposed by his government, Kumar said, adding peace prevailed and family atmosphere has improved ever since the ban. “We did not have any political goal behind imposing the ban on sale of liquor, but wanted to bring in social reform, which is now being witnessed in the state,” he said.

“I have raised the issue after people of Jharkhand, particularly women from Bokaro and Dhanbad, requested to take up the issue of imposing liquor ban in the state, but the state government is not listening,” he said. “It is not because of any political rivalry, but an advise for the benefit of the society,” Kumar said.

“Around Rs 5,000 crore revenue was being generated on account of excise/value added tax (VAT), but we preferred to forgo it for a good social cause,” the Bihar Chief Minister claimed assuring that the revenue loss would be compensated. Regretting that expected development had not taken place in Jharkhand during the last 16 years, Kumar said the the mineral rich state should have been number one.

To query about the poor state of affairs of National Highway 33 between Ranchi and Jamshedpur, Kumar said the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) had failed to maintain the road. Kumar reiterated the demand for special state status for Bihar as well as Jharkhand for their development.

(With PTI inputs)

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