Tamil Nadu

Congress, BJP leaders criticise Tamil Nadu’s decision to reopen TASMAC liquor outlets

A number of leaders said the decision should be withdrawn

The Tamil Nadu government’s decision to reopen Tasmac liquor shops outside Chennai from May 7, has been condemned by the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee and senior leaders of the BJP, an ally of the ruling AIADMK.

In a tweet, TNCC president K.S. Alagiri said the people of Tamil Nadu had, during the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown, become used to living without alcohol for the past 40 days. “Do not disturb this situation. This is a terrific opportunity for the Tamil community to rise higher and shine. We should not allow the demon i.e. liquor to destroy the future of the people of the State,” he said.

State BJP president L. Murugan demanded that the government roll back the announcement. “When the government said temples cannot be open, it also prohibited annadhanam in temples. You have not allowed annadhanam now but are allowing the reopening of Tasmac and allowing liquor sales that is bad for health. Can the government clarify what is more important -- food or alcohol,” he asked in a statement.

Mr. Murugan said it was high time the government started looking at alternative ways of raising revenue as the world was undergoing a big change in economic patterns and behaviour. “You have to come up with new ideas to overcome these economic challenges and formulate policies based on that. You can shut Tasmac completely forever and formulate economic policies,” he said.

Former Union Minister of State Pon. Radhakrishnan demanded that the State not open Tasmac till May 17, while also beginning to close these shops in a phased manner once the lockdown ends.

“When we look at places like Delhi, Karnataka and other States where liquor shops were opened on Monday and the kilometres of queues of people waiting to buy alcohol, the gains got by physical distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 will be lost. There is a possibility that the spread will increase,” he tweeted.

Mr. Radhakrishnan said there is also a fear that people will use up the money they have saved till date to buy large quantities of liquor or even mortgage jewellery. This cannot be disputed by anyone, he said adding that this will also lead to an increase in fights and arguments within families.

State BJP general secretary Vanathi Srinivasan too, urged the Chief Minister to withdraw the announcement. “Reopening of Tasmac shops by pointing a finger towards other States is not right. Women have been living peacefully in the last one month due to the closure of Tasmac. Do not let this be a reason for them to curse you," she tweeted.

Meanwhile, Tamil Maanila Congress president G.K. Vasan said the government should keep in mind that there could be law and order problems due to the reopening of Tasmac and possibilities of people losing their lives as well, due to alcohol relapses. He also demanded the State roll back the increase in VAT on petrol and diesel.

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Printable version | May 27, 2020 3:39:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/congress-bjp-leaders-criticise-tamil-nadus-decision-to-reopen-tasmac-liquor-outlets/article31509088.ece

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