Prohibition successful nowhere: CPI

Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 16 (IANS) With assembly polls around the corner in Kerala, the CPI on Saturday did not reveal what its liquor policy would be but only noted that nowhere in the world has total prohibition turned to be a success.

Addressing reporters here, Communist Party of India’s state secretary Kanam Rajendran said: “Nowhere in the world has total prohibition turned to be a success.”

In an oblique reference to the Congress-led government’s liquor policy that allows sale of alcohol only in five-star hotels, the CPI leader said the party will come out with its liquor policy at an appropriate time.

When newsmen asked if the CPI — if it comes to power — will allow the opening of around 700 two, 3 and 4 star hotel bars that have been closed since the beginning of this fiscal, he evaded a direct answer.

“The liquor policy is an annual policy and at the appropriate time, we will come out with our policy and we know that people here are willing to wait for our policy,” Rajendran said.

After the liquor policy was recently cleared by the Supreme Court, the owners of the closed down bars have been eagerly waiting to know the stand of the Left opposition.

The Oommen Chandy government has dared the CPI-M to tinker with the present liquor policy.

Rajendran also parried questions on who the CPI would prefer to be their chief minister if the Left comes to power.

“We never announce who our CM is before the elections and this would be made at the appropriate time,” he said.

“What if a 92-year-old leader has more than 50 years of solid political experience at the highest level. Won’t it be good?” Rajendran asked, hinting at former chief minister and CPI-M veteran V.S. Achuthanandan.

The CPI for long has always indirectly backed Achuthanandan, rather than CPI-M politburo member Pinarayi Vijayan for the top post.

Rajendran will launch his party’s state-wide yatra from the northern district of Kasargode on January 27. The yatra will end here on February 18.

Currently, the Congress and the CPI-M are on their state yatras, while the Indian Union Muslim League and the BJP have also announced theirs.

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