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Anna Hazare joins chorus against wine sale in supermarkets in Maharashtra

As per the Indian Constitution, it is the responsibility of the governments to discourage citizens from alcohol consumption by creating awareness campaigns against the 'scourge of alcohol', Hazare said.

The decision has drawn criticism from opposition party leaders as well as from conservative quarters.

Social activist Anna Hazare has joined the chorus against the Maharashtra Cabinet’s decision to allow the sale of wine in supermarkets and walk-in stores.

Terming it “unfortunate”, Hazare said that opening “doors wide open for the sale of liquor” only to generate additional tax revenue for the state was not good for the people of the state.

Until now, only registered wine stores were allowed to sell wine. Once notified, the new rules passed by the Maharashtra Cabinet on Thursday would allow the sale of wine at walk-in stores or supermarkets with a minimum area of 100 sq metres.

The decision has drawn criticism from opposition party leaders as well as from conservative quarters. Hazare, who is known for running ‘daaru bandi’ (liquor ban) campaigns in the state, is the latest voice to have joined the growing opposition.

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“On the one hand, the government is justifying the decision by stating that it will help farmers, on the other hand, some in the government are claiming that ‘wine is not liquor’. This makes one unsure about the path ahead for the state,” said Hazare, referring to a comment by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar who had claimed that “there was a huge difference between wine and liquor”.

As per the Indian Constitution, it is the responsibility of the governments to discourage citizens from alcohol consumption by creating awareness campaigns against the ‘scourge of alcohol’, Hazare said.

“If the government is so concerned about the welfare of farmers, then it should provide a just support price to farm produce. The government has willfully ignored this and has set for itself a target of selling 1,000 crore litres of wine in a year. What will be achieved through this is the real question,” said Hazare.

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BJP functionaries, including state opposition leader Devendra Fadnavis, state president Chandrakant Patil, right-wing organisation Shivpratishthan Hindustan’s Sambhajirao Bhide Guruji, and warkari preacher Bandatatya Karadkar have issued statements opposing the state government’s move.

First published on: 31-01-2022 at 02:42:56 pm
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