A day after two top Congress spokesmen quit as publishers of the party’s mouthpiece over a controversial questionnaire that targeted pastors over the state’s liquor policy, Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla instructed all party workers to be silent over the government’s lifting of prohibition.
“Prohibition has already been lifted, so from now on we should remain silent on the issue. Let it go on as it is and if it creates problems, then our leaders can always review it,” the CM said during the weekly political session at Congress Bhavan in Aizawl on Friday.
Meanwhile, reports indicate that the publication of the mouthpiece has been suspended indefinitely.
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The Church and the Congress government in Mizoram have collided over the lifting of 18 years of prohibition, but it has been community-based organisations and neighbourhood groups who have been at the forefront of a movement to not allow the opening of liquor retail outlets across various towns and parts of Aizawl city.
Congress leaders, including the CM himself, have however occasionally targetted the Church over its stated opposition to liquor sales.
Matters came to a head this week when the party mouthpiece published a questionnaire that immediately caused heated public discussion — it asks readers to name pastors who have been criticising the Congress government over the lifting of prohibition.
It also leaves space to mark the pastors’ current place of posting, and also carries seven options where readers can mark where and at which platform the pastor made adverse comments against the party or the government. The spokespersons quit as publishers of the mouthpiece on Thursday saying publishing the questionnaire was not a decision taken by the party but by those handling the mouthpiece’s publication.