Staff Correspondent

Welfare organisations say it only favours producers, not growers

‘BJP Government has succumbed to pressures of wine lobby’

The new policy said to affect society, especially the youth

BELLARY: The All-India Mahila Samskrutika Sanghatane (AIMSS), All-India Democratic Youth Organisation (AIDYO) and the Raitha-Krishi Karmikara Sanghatane, have strongly opposed the wine policy announced by the State Government and have accused the BJP of succumbing to the pressures of the wine lobby.

Addressing a joint press conference here on Tuesday, A. Ramanjanappa, secretary of the State unit of AIDYO, said more than benefiting grape growers, the new wine policy would have a negative impact on society. He ridiculed the claim of the Government that the policy was being introduced for the benefit of growers. He said the policy was silent on the problems faced by grape growers and had not said anything on steps to be taken to overcome them. He also charged the Government with relaxing rules relating to excise saying that this would only help wine producers as they would get the required land, tax concessions and other benefits, while grape growers would be given nothing.

“The irony is that the BJP, which spoke volumes about Indian tradition and culture, and had also claimed credit for introducing prohibition, has now succumbed to the pressures of the wine lobby. This will have a negative impact on society especially the youth,” he said.

According to him, a study conducted recently had proved that atrocities on women were generally committed by persons who had consumed alcohol and road accidents were mainly owing to drunken driving. The Government had been spending huge sums of money trying to prevent such problems, compared to the revenue received towards excise. Despite all these issues, a new wine policy had been drafted, he regretted. Mr. Ramanjanappa appealed to grape growers not to be carried away by the new policy and study the pros and cons of implementing it .

Mr. Ramanjanappa said a series of agitations would be launched if the Government went ahead with its plans. M.N. Manjula, vice-president of the State unit of AIMSS; A. Shanta, district unit secretary; and Devadas, president of the district unit of the Raitha Krishikoolikarara Sangha were present.

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