Former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Uma Bharti plans to kickstart a statewide campaign against liquor consumption on Women’s Day, March 8.
Bharti who was in Gwalior on Monday told the media that she will persist with the campaign against liquor and it should be banned even if drunkards die. “I had said it would be a campaign, not any agitation. I did not say any agitation will be launched from March 8. We will have a small meeting on March 8 where further strategy will be derived,” said Bharti.
However, the ex-CM was mellowed down in her stance on the issue. Incumbent chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has backed the social awareness campaign, he has affirmed that liquor will continue to be supplied if there are consumers. Bharti's announcement comes after the opposition has been targeting the BJP-led state government for converting MP into 'land of liquor'.
After Bharti’s announcement, several BJP leaders claimed that the party’s senior leader was talking about social awareness against liquor which has been BJP’s motto.
Complete de-addiction is a better option than liquor ban which in turn is better than an awareness campaign, Bharti added. She also advised the state government that liquor shops should not be open against the norms and excise rules should be adhered to as spurious liquor remains toxic.
“I hate liquor so much that if I have the chance to opt for liquor ban even if people die, I will let revenue go to hell but I will ban liquor,” Bharti claimed.
During Covid-19 lockdown, it was proved that no one dies due to liquor unavailability, however, as soon as the shops reopened, people started to die, said the former MP from Jhansi. Bharti further affirmed that she has faith in this campaign and will go ahead with it. I had faith in Ram mandir so I had put 30 years of my life into this cause, she added.
Further stating the ill-effects of liquor consumption, Bharti added that women are worst affected by liquor as men engage in physical violence and atrocities after consumption. The poor consume illegally produced liquor which also offers no revenue to the state government, she said.
I am able to speak openly on liquor as CM Shivraj and BJP state head VD Sharma are cultured people and they maintain high levels of discipline, she added.