Toeing the line of Bihar and Gujarat, the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh has announced to close down all liquor shops across the state in a phased manner.
Speaking at a programme in Neemkhera (Heerapur) village of Narsinghpur district on Monday, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said that the first phase of the programme has already been rolled out with the government closing down all liquor shops within a radius of 5 kms from the banks of river Narmada.
"Alcohol prohibition will be implemented in the entire state by closing all liquor shops in a phased manner," Chouhan said.
This programme was organised during the ongoing river conservation awareness campaign 'Namami Devi Narmade - Narmada Seva Yatra.'
"In the next phase, the liquor shops would not be allowed to open in residential localities, near educational institutes or religious places," the CM informed.
Chouhan reiterated that a de-addiction drive will also be launched in the state soon.
During past one month, several protests against liquor shops have been reported from across the state.
On April 5, the protesters had burnt two vehicles and damaged four others in Bareli town of Raisen district when Excise Department was trying to shift the liquor shops from a highway to a local residential colony.
Earlier on April 3, BJP MLA from Indore-1, Sudarshan Gupta had demanded total liquor prohibition in the state while extending support to the agitation against the opening of liquor shop.
Besides, protests were also reported from several parts of the state including Indore, Sagar, Burhanpur, Chhatarpur, Vidisha, Narsinghpur, Satna, Morena, Dewas and some other towns during last one month.
Bihar and Gujarat are the only states in the country that currently have a complete ban on alcohol. Tamil Nadu had also imposed a ban on alcohol, but it failed to implement it. Mizoram was forced withdraw the ban after 17 years in 2014.