Patna: Bihar on Tuesday became the fourth state in India to have a blanket-ban on liquor, after Gujarat, Mizoram and Nagaland. However, Army canteens will be exempted from this liquor ban and be allowed to sell alcohol. Recently, ‘desi’ liquor shops had been closed in Bihar, followed by a ban on toddy.
Now, the ban has been extended to all alcoholic drinks, whether it be local or foreign made.
This is a bold move by the Nitish Kumar government, considering that alcohol is a billion dollar industry in all states in India, but no other parties have come out opposing this ban as they do want to be seen as supporting alcoholism. This ban will be following the alcohol ban model of Gujarat, where there is a no-exceptions blanket ban on alcohol, unlike the model in Kerala, where hotels are allowed to serve alcohol. Last year, when Nitish Kumar had been elected Chief Minister of Bihar, the BJP had questioned how the implementation of this model of ban would take place.
While prohibition is a highly debated issue in the country, when it comes to Bihar, the main concern would be the implementation of this ban, as the Nitish Kumar government has followed through on one of this major poll promise but not declared any plans on the implementation of it, as of yet. With Bihar experiencing a so-called ‘Jungle Raj’, is stands to question, whether such a ban can be put into effect at all.
“Before taking a stand, you have to have a comprehensive view of the situation, otherwise it’s going to be counterproductive,” said Sudesh Verma, BJP Leader. “We wish Nitish Kumar government well.”
“This is a good thing and we won’t give the opposition any opportunity deny that fact,” said Ali Anwar Ansari, JD(U) Leader. When asked about the enforcement of ban he said that since they have the support of the public, especially the women and the Dalits, it shouldn’t be difficult.