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Tuesday, May 26, 2020

‘Can forget coming back to power’: Rajinikanth warns AIADMK on reopening liquor shops

On Saturday, the Tamil Nadu government moved the Supreme Court against an order passed by the Madras High Court, which directed closure of all government-run retail liquor outlets in the state till the lockdown was lifted.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: May 10, 2020 8:19:14 pm
Rajinikanth Rajinikanth asked the government to work out alternative modes of revenue generation. (File)

A day after the Tamil Nadu government moved the Supreme Court challenging the High Court order directing closure of TASMAC liquor outlets, actor Rajinikanth on Sunday said the ruling AIADMK should forget returning to power if it reopened the liquor shops.

In a tweet, Rajinikanth also asked the government to work out alternate modes of revenue generation. “If the state reopens the TASMAC at this time, it must forget the dream of coming back to power again. Please #Look out for better ways of filling the coffers,” the actor tweeted.

Rajinikath joins Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) chief Kamal Haasan and DMK president MK Stalin in criticising the government’s decision to re-open the liquor stores.

On Saturday, the Tamil Nadu government moved the Supreme Court against an order passed by the Madras High Court directing closure of all government-run retail liquor outlets in the state till the lockdown was lifted.

A special division bench of of Justice Vineet Kothari and Justice Pushpa Sathyanarayana had passed an interim order on Friday after hearing a batch of petitions seeking closure of liquor shops as they were violating guidelines set to contain the spread of Covid-19. The HC noted there were huge crowds and no social distancing was being maintained by people.

It, however, allowed doorstep delivery of liquor through online mode. The Tamil Nadu government, in its appeal on Saturday, termed the HC order a case of “judicial overreach” and said online sale and home delivery of alcohol were not possible in the entire state.

The AIADMK-led government reopened liquor stores across the state, except in Chennai and containment zones, on May 7 after a period of 43 days. It sold about 20 lakh litres of liquor worth Rs 170 crore that day.

On May 4, as the government announced the reopening of liquor stores, it had directed shops to implement strict social distancing norms and set a timing of 10 am to 5 pm. It had also promised to deploy additional staff to manage the crowd.

The HC, a day before stores were to reopen, refused to stay the government’s decision. It ordered that every person would be permitted to purchase only one bottle of liquor (750 ml) per day if payment was made by cash.

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