Telangana opposition parties join hands against cheap liquor

Hyderabad, Aug 22 (IANS) The opposition parties in Telangana have come together to launch a movement against the state government’s move to introduce cheap liquor in the state.

The Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the left parties on Saturday decided to launch a movement from Gajwel, the assembly constituency in Medak district represented by Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao.

Leaders of the opposition parties at an all-party meeting here alleged that Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government is trying its fill coffers by selling cheap liquor without bothering about its impact on people.

They urged the government to immediately drop the proposal as it has serious social and financial consequences for the poor.

Congress’ state president Uttam Kumar Reddy said the TRS government was acting in an undemocratic way by taking unilateral decisions without consulting opposition parties.

TDP leader E. Dayakar Rao announced that the movement against cheap liquor would be launched from the chief minister’s constituency.

The opposition parties and non-governmental organisations constituted a steering committee headed by Prof P.L. Vishweshwar Rao to organise the movement.

Meanwhile, BJP’s women activists staged a sit-in at the excise department office at Nampally here on Saturday to protest cheap liquor. Tension prevailed when police tried to remove the protestors.

BJP leader K. Lakshman said the government was playing with the lives of people by introducing cheap liquor.

Opposition parties said TRS government proposed to set up one liquor shop for a population of 10,000 against the earlier policy of one shop for 15,000 population.

The government earlier this decided to introduce bottled cheap liquor as an alternative to arrack in the same price range to tackle the latter’s menace.

Officials said since arrack was a health hazard to poor people, the government decided to introduce a new excise policy, which will come into effect from October 1.

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