Aims at taking campaign to grassroots

The Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) has decided to take the initiative in forging a strong anti-liquor campaign in view of growing consumption of liquor in the State. A decision to this effect was taken at a KPCC executive committee meeting here on Tuesday.

As a first step, a concrete mechanism, under the Chief Minister’s leadership, will be established to coordinate the activities of the Excise, Home, Education, Local Self-Government, Health, Social Empowerment, and Youth Welfare departments to create awareness against the bottle.

Similarly, grama sabhas and ward sabhas would be drafted for the anti-liquor campaign, not to mention the support of cultural, social and spiritual organisations that have been performing their own roles in this sector.

“Our objective is to convert the anti-liquor campaign into a grassroots movement,” KPCC president V.M. Sudheeran said at a news conference held soon after the executive committee meeting.

Explaining the rationale of the decision, he said the political community has acquired a negative image for its failure to tackle this issue.

The Congress should take the initiative to fight this social evil. Recalling the effectiveness of the arrack ban of the A.K. Antony government in 1995-96, of which he was a member, Mr. Sudheeran said steps would be taken to bring other political parties also on board. Many things would have to be done as a matter of policy and legislation to implement the campaign. The move should start with the government, he said.

The KPCC-government coordination committee and the UDF high-power committee, which are meeting here on Wednesday, will discuss this issue in detail.

The KPCC-coordination committee will also discuss the fate of 418 liquor bars which have been shut down subsequent to a Supreme Court verdict.

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