The opposition BJP in Chhattisgarh on Monday urged Governor Anusuiya Uikey to direct the state government to ban liquor in the state and withdraw its order allowing home delivery of booze during the COVID-19 lockdown.
The party also said that it would stage a protest on Tuesday against the ruling Congress for its "failure" in fulfilling the electoral promises.
A delegation of BJP leaders led by former chief minister and BJP national vice president Raman Singh submitted a five-point memorandum to the governor urging her to issue directives to the state government, a statement issued by the BJP said.
The demands made by the BJP included: implementation of complete liquor prohibition in the state, withdrawal of the decision of the state government allowing home delivery of liquor; preparing a clear-cut policy for bringing back migrant labourers stranded in other states and providing an interim relief of at least Rs 1000 to each migrant labourer, it said.
The party also demanded that the state government make public its fund-wise expenses in the fight against coronavirus, the memorandum said.
Later, talking to media persons, Raman Singh alleged that the Bhupesh Baghel government was seeking to earn revenue by hiking taxes on liquor in the backdrop of COVID-19 pandemic.
"The state government opened liquor shops to earn Rs 5000 crore revenue. The liquor shops should be immediately shut as the Congress had made the promise to ban liquor in its poll manifesto," Singh said.
He said the government has failed to come out with a proper action plan to bring back 1.60 lakh workers from the state who are stranded in different parts of the country.
Meanwhile, the Congress said liquor shops were opened by the state government during the lockdown following a direction from the Centre.
"The BJP ditched people of the state during its 15-year rule (2003-2018) and now again, being in opposition, it is practicing the same thing," said Dhananjay Singh Thakur, state Congress spokesperson.
He said the Centre was responsible for opening of liquor outlets all over the country and not the state governments.
"It is the Centre which has been deciding the opening and closing of shops and commercial establishments during the lockdown. Why liquor, paan, gutkha and tobacco shops were allowed to open in the third phase of the lockdown?"
"The BJP should go to Rashtrapati Bhawan instead of Raj Bhawan if they want that liquor shops to be shut," Thakur said.