- Senior BJP leader Uma Bharti opposed the liquor policy of the Madhya Pradesh government
- She wondered why Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has "stopped talking" about prohibition now
- Bharti demanded that the practice of serving liquor near schools be immediately stopped
Senior BJP leader Uma Bharti, who has been opposing the liquor policy of the Madhya Pradesh government, on Monday, wondered why Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has "stopped talking" now while she had always raised the issue of prohibition with him.
In a series of tweets in Hindi, Bharti demanded that the practice of serving liquor in 'ahatas' (enclosed areas close to liquor vends) be immediately stopped and booze shops near schools, hospitals, temples and other prohibited places shut down. She also demanded that home delivery of liquor be not allowed.
Calling Chouhan her elder brother, Bharti said that the former was now speaking through the media on the liquor issue. “I enjoy cordial and respectful relations with the MP chief minister and my elder brother Shivraj Singh Chouhan since 1984. He used to meet me while going to the office or whenever I went for my Himalaya sojourn,” Bharti tweeted. The former Union minister said she always raised the demand for banning liquor in MP during her every meeting with Chouhan.
"Now as the things are starting to come out why Shivraj has stopped talking. 'Unbola kyun kar diya'? (Why is he not talking) and why has he started speaking through the media on this issue?” she asked in another tweet.
Referring to Chouhan's recent statement that if people stop consuming liquor, he will immediately close these shops, Bharti said “When people won't drink liquor then how these shops will run? (Obviously), they will automatically get closed”. She said the police and administration are duty-bound to stop the sale of illegal liquor. "It is a matter of law and order". Bharti suggested a string of measures to discourage people from drinking.
Bharti demanded serving of liquor in 'ahatas' should be stopped immediately while liquor shops situated near schools, hospitals, temples and other prohibited places should be closed and the system of home delivery of liquor suspended. “After taking these measures, an awareness campaign should be launched wherein all religious leaders, social organisations, leaders like me and Shivraj, and leaders from other parties should be included,” she said in another tweet. Bharti said that hoardings should be put up before the legally established shops later highlighting the disadvantages of consuming liquor.
“Wherever women and citizens oppose these shops they should not be opened. They (women and citizens) only form our government,” she said. Demanding prohibition in MP, Bharti had hurled a stone at a liquor shop in Bhopal following complaints from women and local people that men are relieving themselves in the open after drinking liquor from ahatas.
Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Monday took a jibe at Bharti's outburst. “The basic differences between Umaji (Uma Bharti) and Mamuji (Chouhan) on the issue of banning liquor have come out before people. BJP's Central and state leadership should release their policy on the issue.