Ranchi: After implementing the liquor ban in his state, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has now set his eyes on neighbouring Jharkhand.
On Tuesday Kumar launched a liquor prohibition campaign from Dhanbad district of Jharkhand.
Addressing an event of the Nari Sangharsh Morcha, Kumar said there was no Bihar or Gujarat model of prohibition, but a model as was propounded by Mahatma Gandhi.
“Why prohibition cannot be imposed in Jharkhand if it is banned in Bihar?” he asked. The ban on liquor is neither a Bihar nor a Gujarat model, rather it is Bapu’s (Mahatma Gandhi) model,” Kumar said.
He also took a swipe at Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das who had said that the state would adopt the Gujarat model of governance.
“The Jharkhand chief minister says that his government will follow the Gujarat model. In that case he must ban sale of liquor in the state as well,” Kumar said.
Kumar said there is a clear guideline in the excise policy that no liquor will be sold within three kilometres of those states where prohibition is in force. But, he alleged, the Jharkhand government increased the quota of liquor in districts bordering Bihar despite his letter in this regard.
In a veiled attack, Kumar also targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying that he should ensure that the Gujarat model is implemented in all the states where the Bharatiya Janata Party is in power.
He also said that there was no connection between consumption of liquor and the lifestyle of the tribals.
“Absolutely wrong information is being spread that liquor is linked to tribal culture. The Raghubar Das government will one day be forced to announce prohibition on liquor as people of the state have now become conscious,” Kumar said.
He said due to the ban on liquor the crime graph in Bihar has gone down.
Former Jharkhand chief minister Babulal Marandi also addressed the gathering.
Kumar’s party Janata Dal-United (JD-U) has minuscule presence in Jharkhand. Political observers point out that the Bihar chief minister is now trying to form a grand alliance at the national level and for that he may seek a merger of the JD-U and the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik of Marandi.