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‘Marked difference between wine and liquor’: Ajit Pawar on Opposition criticism over new policy

Pawar also emphasised that there was no question of turning the state into a liquor destination as alleged by the Opposition. It is unnecessarily being blown out of proportion, he said.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
Updated: January 30, 2022 2:01:56 am
Pawar also emphasised that there was no question of turning the state into a liquor destination as alleged by the Opposition.

Days after the Maharashtra government permitted the sale of wine in supermarkets and walk-in stores across the state, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar Saturday said there is a marked difference between wine and liquor and asserted they are not the same.

Urging party workers and allies not to get drawn by the Opposition criticism against the new wine policy, Pawar said, “We are equally concerned about the welfare of the people in Maharashtra. We have not taken any decision that is detrimental for the state and its people.”

Pawar’s observations came following a statewide campaign threat by the BJP against the cabinet decision to allow sale of wine in supermarkets and shops.

The BJP has slammed the Maha Vikas Aghadi government for the liberal wine policy and this it as a “wrong policy”.

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Pawar, while expressing his disappointment with BJP’s conduct, said, “We have not allowed sale of hard liquor in supermarkets. Our decision is restricted to only wine. There is a difference between wine and liquor and this should be categorically impressed upon the public.”

“The BJP leaders are creating a hue and cry but even Madhya Pradesh, which is a BJP-ruled state, has taken a decision to allow the sale of liquor in supermarkets. Now, it is a decision taken by the CM and his cabinet who are elected by the people of Madhya Pradesh. We can also counter BJP by giving this example but we don’t want to comment on any other state,” Pawar said.

It must be mentioned that the Madhya Pradesh government under its new excise policy has allowed liquor outlets at all airports in the state. It has also allowed liquor outlets in supermarkets in Bhopal, Gwalior, Indore and Jabalpur.

Pawar also emphasised that there was no question of turning the state into a liquor destination as alleged by the Opposition. It is unnecessarily being blown out of proportion, he said.

Earlier, leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis had said, “The MVA government is trying to change a progressive state like Maharashtra into Madh Rashtra (liquor state).”

The Opposition leader also pointed out that the state government has always accorded highest priority to liquor policies ignoring concerns of larger issues confronting the people in almost all core sectors, including agriculture.

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