Social activist Anna Hazare has claimed that the state excise department had held deliberations with him to formulate a law on liquor ban in the state. He said that he advised them to strengthen Gram Rakshak Dals (Village Defence Troup), comprising of locals, to deal with those who violate the ban.
In a statement released to the press on Friday, Hazare said that after his meeting with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in July this year, senior office bearers with the excise department visited him in Ralegan Siddhi to discuss the possibility of a legislation in this regard.
State Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, however, has made it clear that the state was not thinking of any blanket ban on the liquor but might follow the footsteps of Tamil Nadu by banning the sale of country liquor. Hazare has said that on Thursday, a team led by Excise Commissioner V Radha visited him to discuss the way ahead.
“When a legal liquor shop closes, people buy hatbhatti-made liquor and troubles continue in the village. In such a scenario, it’s imperative that legal powers be granted to Gram Rakshak Dals to nab such a person and hand him over to the authorities. If such an offence is committed by a person thrice, he should be externed from the village,” said Hazare. He added that he also had a telephonic conversation with State Excise Minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule who promised to run a pilot project of giving some additional powers to Gram Rakshak Dals in Vardha and Chandrapur districts where the liquor ban was already in place.