Protests in several parts of Madhya Pradesh against liquor shops have prompted CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan to reiterate that the state would impose prohibition by gradually shutting down all liquor shops.
State Finance Minister Jayant Malaiya had told The Indian Express last week that the state can impose prohibition only from next year because shops for the period from April 1, 2017, to April 30, 2018, have already been auctioned.
At a meeting in Neemkheda village of Narsinghpur district on Sunday, Chouhan said the state will begin a de-addiction drive. “In the first phase, shops within 5 km of the Narmada have been closed. Now shops near educational institutions, residential areas and religious places will be closed down and then prohibition will be imposed,’’ he said.
While announcing the excise policy for the current financial year, the state government had focussed on de-addiction rather than suddenly imposing prohibition. In addition to the restrictions along highways, imposed by the Supreme Court, the state government removed shops near the Narmada.