A Blunt Manjhi Says Prohibition has Failed in Bihar

HAM leader JItan Ram Manjhi sitting on a dharna in Patna on Wednesday.

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Patna: Former Chief Minister of Bihar and Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) leader Jitan Ram Manjhi, feeling neglected by the NDA, sat on a day-long dharna in Gardanibagh against the government in Bihar that he supports raising issues related prohibition, anti-encroachment drive and a host of other matters that affect the voters.

Taking a shot at Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on his obsession with prohibition, Manjhi declared ban on alcohol in Bihar had completely flopped and an external committee should do an honest review of the policy to find out its success or failure.

"Liquor, despite the ban, is flowing freely in Bihar. If the government does not believe it, it should try random breathalyzer test on people in both rural and urban areas. The claim that prohibition has benefitted poor in particular is also very dubious since out of 72,000 arrests for violation of liquor policies, nearly 60,000 belong to the poor section of the society," the HAM leader said.

Manjhi also reminded Nitish Kumar of his election promise of giving five decimal land to Dalits and poor in Bihar.

"The Chief Minister has already made seven resolves; he should add an eighth one to provide five decimal land to the landless," he said.

The former Chief Minister also railed against the government's hard-handed tactics to remove encroachment in Patna saying even the Supreme Court had held that removing someone from one's dwelling without first providing an alternative was not permitted and Nitish Kumar would be well advised to follow the court's suggestion.

HAM state President Brishan Patel reminded the Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA government at the Center saying the BJP should not take his party for granted and pay attention to its demand.

"We are not the bonded labor of any party or alliance and hence should not be taken for granted. If our demands are not met then we will find a different path to pursue our agenda," Patel said.


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