Staff Reporter

UDF planning stir against `abkari' policy

PALAKKAD: Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Ramesh Chennithala has said that ``there is nothing new in the Governor's address made in the Assembly on Friday. It contained only hollow promises that cannot be implemented.'' Addressing mediapersons here, the KPCC chief said the Governor's address, a policy statement of the Government, was directionless like the Left Democratic Front (LDF) Government in the State.

He said the United Democratic Front (UDF) would organise a mass agitation against the new `abkari' policy of the LDF Government. The policy, he said, would pave the way for corruption and result in the flow of illicit liquor in the State. The policy was announced hurriedly on the eve of the Assembly session. It should have been discussed in the Assembly.

He said the decision to reopen 1,600 toddy shops closed by the previous United Democratic Front Government, as toddy was not available to run them, would only result in the flow of illicit arrack and spirit. It is difficult to get toddy even in existing shops. To allow these toddy shops to function in the cooperative sector is to bring them under the control of the Communist Party of India (Marxist). He said that in the name of promoting tourism the Government was sanctioning more bar licences and beer parlours.