“It is not a crime to mobilise resources through the auction of liquor shops”
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister K. Rosaiah on Sunday stoutly defended the mobilisation of financial resources through the auction of liquor shops, wondering if it was a crime to do so when the government was left with no other option.
Addressing a media conference here, he said: “We have controlled illicit operations and enhanced the revenue through Excise Department. I think there is nothing wrong and illegal about it. No one should have any objection.”
Hitting out at the Opposition for finding fault with the liquor policy, he said the government had to embark on mobilising resources this way as it did not have any other alternative.
To a question, Mr. Rosaiah said he would campaign in the byelections for 10 constituencies in Telangana region after seeking the advice of the Congress high command. “Normally, Congress Chief Ministers don't campaign in the byelections, though nobody could prevent them from doing so. It has become a convention. However, I don't have any objection to campaign but I will take the advice of the high command.” He hoped that the Congress would win a majority of the seats. On the hike in petroleum products and whether the State would reduce taxes, Mr. Rosaiah almost ruled out the possibility saying his government was not in a position to take such a step.
“The government has to allocate funds for various welfare schemes, including the Rs. 2- a-kg rice scheme and Rajiv Arogyasri. At this junction, it is highly impossible to absorb the additional burden. Anyhow, we will review the issue and take a final decision on July 1 when the Cabinet is scheduled to meet,” he added.