• Associate Sponsor

Strong stand for liquor prohibition, KPCC president left dry

The other day, Congress state vice-president M M Hassan had blasted Sudheeran openly in media.

Written by Shaju Philip | Thirunananthapuram | Published: August 23, 2014 7:07 pm
The bar controversy has been seized as an opportunity to corner Sudheeran. (Source: PTI photo) The bar controversy has been seized as an opportunity to corner Sudheeran. (Source: PTI photo)

His uncompromising stand for total prohibition of liquor in Kerala, which forced the rivals in the government to bottle Kerala in “liquor-free’’ state in a phased manner, has left Congress state president V M Sudheeran high and dry in the party.

According to party sources, the dominating groups of A and I, led by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and home  minister Ramesh Chennithala respectively, have buried their differences to take on the “persona-non-gratia.’’  The bar controversy has been seized as an opportunity to corner Sudheeran, who was made KPCC chief disregarding the protest from these two groups.

An opinion is being mobilized in the party that Sudheeran is creating obstacles for the smooth running of the government. The charge sheet against Sudheeran is that he is behaving like an opposition leader, who lands the government in trouble at the cost of maintaining his clean image.

Addressing the media on a government platform, former KPCC president Chennithala on Friday said “when I was the state president of the party, I hadn’t intervened in the government affairs. But, I don’t know the present situation.’’

He said it was unfortunate to term Chandy as an agent of the liquor lobby and Sudheeran should have avoided his controversial speech where he stated that there was an attempt to elicit a court order favourable for bar owners.

The other day, Congress state vice-president M M Hassan, a close confidant of Chandy, had blasted Sudheeran openly in media.

“It was unfortunate that Sudheeran tried to depict Chandy as an agent of bar hotel owners. While being at the post of KPCC president, Sudheeran’s concern should not be limited to idealism. He should understand the situation of a party that is in power,’’ Hassan said.

While announcing the decision to close down all bars (except five star ones) in this fiscal itself, Chandy said none can paint him as agent of liquor lobby.

Realizing the build-up against him in the party, Sudheeran resorted to restraint.  Sudheeran said the KPCC would give wholehearted support for the government to implement the new liquor policy. “I do not want to create trouble by reacting to the criticism against me,’’ said Sudheeran.

While Sudheeran is facing the ire of colleagues in his party, leaders of minority communities, women outfits and cultural organizations have extended support for him. Even the CPI (M)-led Opposition has mellowed its protest against the decision. The CPI (M) has only pointed out at the practical difficulties associated with implementing the new liquor policy.

For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App

  1. M
    Aug 24, 2014 at 4:55 am
    Legally the government can only do two things. (1) Enforce complete prohibition (2) Allow free trade and impose strict quality control on the liquor right from manufacturing and bottling till the point of s. Allowing only the 5-star hotels to sell an item is NOT considered a good market principle and a partisan inteference. The 5-star bars are selling the same b that is available at normal bars, at an exorbitant price. If the government is sincere then it should ensure the availability of unadulterated liquor in market and enforce strict punishments for those not complying with the quality standards. The narcotic flavors added with low grade liquor can intoxicate a person and make him an addict and a drunkard. The disoriented individual can create severe law and order problems in the family and society