Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday remained non-committal on the issue of banning liquor in the state even as he advised people to “drink less”.
“The decision on banning liquor cannot be taken in haste. Interest of cane farmers and employment of lakhs of people in liquor shops are related with this. Presently, we can only advise people to drink less (liquor),” Yadav said.
Yadav’s remarks have come against the backdrop of his Bihar counterpart Nitish Kumar recently advising him to ban liquor in his state.
Nitish had said, “Waqt ke saath doosre tareekon se iski poorti ki jaa sakti hai (The losses incurred due to revenue loss can be offset by other ways)”.
He had also sought support from Uttar Pradesh to ensure prohibition in bordering areas.
Akhilesh was here to launch and lay foundation stones of several developmental projects worth over Rs 400 crore.
SP spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary had, however, criticised Kumar accusing him of making “negative comments” against Uttar Pradesh and thus emboldening communal forces against which the UP government is fighting.
Attacking BSP, Akhilesh said the previous BSP government did “nothing” and only concentrated on installing statues of Mayawati and making memorials.
“Now they have also started talking of development. Buaji (as Akhilesh calls Mayawati) is now realising that she suffered loss due to her work,” he said.
Highlighting his government works, Akhilesh said that soon police force would be modernised and after receiving an emergency call it will reach within 15 minutes for help.
He also mentioned 108/102 free Samajwadi ambulance services being run in the state.
“When Congress was in power, we were asked to remove the name Samajwadi from the ambulance services to get the money for it. But we did not remove it and arranged money from our own resources,” he said.