Former Gujarat Chief Minister Shankersinh Vaghela has launched a campaign against prohibition of alcohol in the state, on social media questioning the intention of the state government, when “alcohol is freely available in every corner at five times the market price”. Vaghela posted a message, urging people to join the “Against Liquor Ban Challenge” hashtag. He argued that money from the illegal sale of alcohol goes to black marketers, instead of the state treasury. Several Twitter users came out in support of the campaign, one even saying that he/she did not drink but supported Vaghela’s campaign to decriminalise drinking, to which Vaghela responded saying, “Even I stopped drinking long back but to fight for Gujarat’s future, we need to stop this drama!” Vaghela had famously launched a 52 hour fast as union textile minister at the Gandhi ashram at Kocharab in 2007 to protest the then CM Narendra Modi government’s decision to relax prohibition laws for SEZs ostensibly to attract investment.
Not The C-Virus
Former Gujarat BJP president Jitu Vaghani was conspicuous by his absence in the recently concluded monsoon session of the Gujarat Assembly. Vaghani, an MLA from Bhavnagar West constituency is allotted seat in the front row of the ruling BJP’s benches in the House. Vaghani’s absence from the House for all five days of the session made people doubtful whether he was absent due to Covid-19. However, as stated by BJP chief whip Pankaj Desai, Vaghani tested negative for Covid-19 but was down with seasonal viral fever that kept him away from the House.
To ENSURE social distancing in the times of Covid-19, many MLAs of Gujarat Assembly were given seating arrangement inside the viewing gallery during the recently concluded monsoon session of the House. Speaker Rajendra Trivedi seemed quite conscious of the fact and was lenient with the MLAs sitting in the viewing gallery who were allowed to remain seated while addressing the House. At one point, the Speaker said – in a lighter tone – that in the times of Corona, everything was allowed in the House, including speaking on phone.
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