UDF will meet on May 20 to discuss the bar licence issue
The Congress decision on the bar licence issue will be in the interest of the general public and not that of bar hotel owners, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president V.M. Sudheeran has said.
Talking to media persons here on Sunday, Mr. Sudheeran said the decision would help fight the issue of alcoholism in Kerala society.
The party was committed to take a decision for the well-being of the people of the State.
The views of the High Court and the one-member commission appointed by the State government were in support of the party’s stand, he said.
Mr. Sudheeran said he drew strength from the support offered by various sections of society on the controversial issue.
He said there were reports that some antisocial elements and vested interests were taking advantage of the present situation.
The Excise, Revenue, and Police Departments acted promptly on the reports. One cannot let antisocial elements win in society, Mr. Sudheeran said.Criminal cases down
The KPCC president said the number of criminal cases, including drunken brawls, had come down in the urban and rural areas since the closure of bars.
This was one of the positive outcomes of the decision, which needed to be taken note of. Discussions were progressing at various levels in the Congress, other political parties, and fronts on the issue. The United Democratic Front (UDF) would meet on May 20 to discuss the issue, he said.
The Congress high command need not be dragged into the issue of renewal of bar licences. The Congress was the claimant of the political legacy of Mahatma Gandhi. Prohibition was not in the agenda of the party. The Congress and the UDF were of the view that consumption of alcohol should be brought down, he said.
The KPCC president said he would not join any debate that would divert attention from the core issue. There could be different and diverse viewpoint on the issue. Let the people of the State decide on the merit of the stand taken by various sections, he said.