Other States

Highlight hooch deaths to discourage liquor consumption: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar

Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Deputy CM Tarkishore Prasad and other cabinet ministers flag off the alcohol prohibition campaign on the occasion of De-addiction Day, in Patna, on November 26, 2021.   | Photo Credit: PTI

After taking a pledge that he would neither consume liquor nor take part in any activity related to it, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday said that hooch deaths in the State must be highlighted to spread the message to people that liquor consumption was not only bad but also dangerous.

Mr. Kumar also asserted that prohibition in the State would continue and appealed to officials to implement the laws effectively without any discrimination.

“What do you expect? If people die because of hooch, should we allow them to drink liquor? I would say hooch deaths must be propagated more so that the message goes to people that drinking liquor is not only bad but also dangerous”, said Mr. Kumar while addressing people after taking the pledge.

Earlier, the Opposition took on the Nitish Kumar Government over recent hooch deaths in the State. Over three dozen people had died due to consumption of illegal liquor in different districts of the State in the last few months. Over 100 people, mostly poor, have died due to hooch ever since prohibition was effected in the State.

Along with Mr. Kumar, his Cabinet colleagues and officials too took the pledge. “You must ensure that your officials take the pledge by actually reading it and not just keep the paper in hand. They should remain committed to the pledge taken”, he urged the Chief Secretary and Director General of Police.

Mr. Kumar also rubbished Opposition leaders’ argument that because of prohibition in the State, there was a huge loss of revenue to the State exchequer. “Rather, it has gone up. In the first year of prohibition, it had come down a little bit, but later, it has gone up. There is no loss of revenue due to prohibition in the State”, he said.

The tourism sector too got a boost and more tourists started to visit Bihar after prohibition, Mr. Kumar added. “It’s a myth that if no liquor is served, tourist inflow will be less in a State. In Bihar, more tourists have visited the State since prohibition”, he said, sharing data and figures on deaths worldwide due to liquor consumption.

Deputy Chief Ministers Tarkishore Prasad and Renu Devi too addressed the audience on the occasion and praised the efforts taken by the government to make prohibition laws in the State more effective and its positive results on society at large.

State Education Minister Vijay Choudhury, Prohibition and Excise Minister Sunil Kumar, along with other Cabinet colleagues, were present at the event held at Gyan Bhawan.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2022 2:33:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/highlight-hooch-deaths-to-discourage-liquor-consumption-bihar-chief-minister-nitish-kumar/article37699179.ece

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