The new Mizo National Front (MNF) government in Mizoram Tuesday took its first steps towards reimplementing total prohibition in the state by cancelling the liquor selling permits of nine government entities – six police battalions and three PSUs.
“Government agencies will not be selling alcohol from tomorrow. For private sellers, we will order ‘dry days’ from December 21 to January 14. Meanwhile, we will begin work to bring a legislation to implement total prohibition,” Chief Minister Zoramthanga told The Indian Express over phone from Aizawl.
Also on Tuesday, which was the first day of the Assembly session, MNF legislator Lalrinliana Sailo was elected unopposed as the Speaker. The oath-taking ceremony of the MLAs was also held. The session was followed by a Cabinet meeting in which the decision regarding restrictions on alcohol sale were taken.
The previous Congress government had ended 18 years of total prohibition in the state by replacing the Mizoram Liquor (Total Prohibition) Act, 1995 with the Mizoram Liquor (Prohibition and Control) Act, 2014, against the wishes of the Church and NGOs. The MNF had made prohibition a poll plank by highlighting problems caused due to easy access to alcohol, and had promised to bring back total prohibition.