Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa Thursday alleged DMK chief Karunanidhi had years ago said more quality liquor should be produced and blamed his regime for lifting dry law, affirming that her government was firm in implementing phased prohibition.
Targeting the opposition DMK over prohibition in the Assembly, Jayalalithaa told Excise and Prohibition Minister P Thangamani that he should make it clear that it was Karunanidhi who had lifted dry law in the state as the younger generation was not aware of the whole truth about it.
Replying to the demand for grant to his department, the Minister was tracing the history of prohibition and its relaxation in Tamil Nadu when she intervened.
After her remark, DMK Deputy Leader Duraimurugan urged Speaker P Dhanapal to give him permission to air his views. Dhanapal said he would get his chance after the Minister’s reply. Intervening, Jayalalithaa said in August 1971, Karunanidhi lifted prohibition and shops vending IMFL, arrack and toddy were opened across the state.
“In 2007, when members of several parties said in Tamil Nadu Assembly that illicit liquor should be eradicated the then Chief Minister Karunanidhi had said that illicit liquor cannot be eradicated,” she said.
Karunanidhi had also said “if we (the State) have to compete with other countries we should produce more quality alcoholic beverages and through that alone we could win (situation) and there was no other way out considering the present day world culture.”
“This is the true opinion of Karunanidhi on prohibition. However, as far as I am concerned, I am firm in phased implementation of prohibition,” she said. She recalled the closure of 500 Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation (TASMAC) liquor outlets and reducing working hours of such shops by two hours after she assumed office again this year.
Duraimurugan again urged the Speaker to allow him to speak. The Speaker reiterated that he would get his chance later after the Minister’s reply. Unsatisfied by the Speaker’s reply, Duraimurugan led the DMK members in staging a walkout.