Amid criticism from the opposition over its liquor policy, the Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led BJP government in Madhya Pradesh suffered a fresh jolt after senior leader Uma Bharti announced on Wednesday her plans to launch a campaign in favour of a ban on alcohol in the state.
The former Jhansi MP announced her plans to kick off a campaign against liquor on March 8, International Women’s Day.
The government is planning to sell liquor online and alter excise policy to boost revenues as it prepares to roll out a fresh excise policy.
Among other things, the government is planning to form smaller groups of liquor traders to ensure there is no cartelisation and prices remain in check to rein in illegal sale and supply of liquor.
Bharti, who has been demanding a liquor ban as she blamed it for crimes like rapes in the state, said she has found a companion for the de-addiction campaign.
The former chief minister wrote on Twitter that her companion was a girl, named Khusbu, a resident of Madhya Pradesh who met her in Uttarakhand while she was staying near the banks of the Ganga.
“I had noticed a special courage and commitment in her and immediately decided to name her ‘Ganga Bharti’,” said the former MP, who had earlier criticised the Chouhan dispensation for its plans to increase the number of liquor shops to counter a surge in illegal supply.
“I have asked Ganga to prepare and launch the liquor ban campaign on March 8, the International Women’s Day,” said Bharti saying she (Ganga) will come up with the details on March 8.