Pattali Makkal Katchi founder S. Ramadoss and many senior PMK functionaries of the party were arrested in different parts of the State for trying to lock up Tasmac liquor shops as part of the party’s campaign for total prohibition.
“We want the government to close down retail liquor shops in a phased manner. Tamil Nadu can take a cue from Maharashtra and eliminate liquor shops from areas where people are against it. If the State government fails to take any action in six months, we will continue with the protest by locking up the shops on a daily basis,” Dr. Ramadoss warned while addressing party workers here.
He was held along with former minister A.K. Moorthy and legal wing leader Balu. They were released after some time. Former minister Anbumani Ramadoss and PMK president G.K. Mani also participated in the agitation in Kancheepuram and Erode.
Dr. Ramadoss said that Gujarat remained a role model for States on total prohibition.
“Without depending on the revenue from liquor shops, Gujarat is able to make progress in all fields though it is surrounded by States where there is no prohibition. What is the point in distributing freebies to the people and collecting the money for it by selling liquor to them?”
He alleged that the DMK government led by M. Karunanidhi spurned the advice of C. Rajagopalachari and lifted prohibition in 1971.
A generation of youngsters became victims of the evils of drink.
“Though Periyar, the founder of the Dravidar Kazhagam, and Anna, the founder of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, had made a strong case against liquor, their followers in the government hardly bothered about it. Both the DMK and the AIADMK are vying with each other in increasing revenue through liquor shops, depriving the poor of their livelihood and making them victims of scores of diseases.”