Tamil Nadu

Karunanidhi promises total prohibition


In a striking ‘U’ turn on its liquor policy, DMK leader M. Karunanidhi on Monday declared that if his party was elected to power, it would take intensive measures to implement prohibition in the State.

In a statement here, he said the poor, farmers, workers and even students were drinking heavily and dying in hundreds in the absence of prohibition.

“Drinking habit has not only affected men, but also women and small children. This has brought to focus the need for prohibition. If the DMK comes to power, it will take serious measures to implement prohibition for social transformation,” he said.

Mr. Karunanidhi’s announcement has come as a surprise, as when he was the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu between 2006 and 2011, he rejected the demand for prohibition on the ground that it would pave way for spurious liquor.

In 2007, while replying to a question raised by PMK floor leader G.K. Mani in the Assembly, he said though prohibition was desirable, it was not enforceable. His argument was that Tamil Nadu could not remain an island, when liquor was sold in all other States.

Mr. Karunanidhi explained that when there was prohibition in Tamil Nadu during the Congress regime, spurious liquor flooded the State like a river and led to the arrest of thousands who indulged in bootlegging.

Former Union Minister and PMK’s nominee for Chief Ministerial candidate Anbumani Ramadoss said Mr. Karunanidhi’s announcement had proved that he was very desperate to come back to power and would be ready to make any announcement.

“But the PMK deems it as a victory for its 25 years campaign against liquor policy of the State government. Political leaders have realised that they could not afford to ignore the issue anymore,” he told The Hindu.

Dr. Anbumani said Mr.Karunanidhi, who turned down the plea of Rajaji four decades ago for prohibition, had now had taken a complete turn because of the relentless campaign of the PMK.

“His announcement looks vague because he has not explained how he is going to implement it. We do not know whether he will go for a total prohibition or will implement it in a phased manner,” he said.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2022 6:28:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/karunanidhi-promises-total-prohibition/article7444745.ece

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