Many Tried but Failed; I Succeeded in Imposing Prohibition; Says CM

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar speaking on prohibition at a daylong seminar on the subject in Patna on Thursday.

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Patna: Though it was supposed to be the birth anniversary of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, the event was anything but the celebration of the life of the man widely believed to be the father of the Indian constitution. As always, it was an occasion to self-congratulate and bash those who are not in the same political camp.

Continuing to congratulate himself, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, at a function at the Sri Krishna Memorial Hall in Patna on Thursday, Kumar took full credit for the prohibition in Bihar saying those who were of the view that total ban on alcohol would not be successful in the state were wrong as it was already a huge success in the state.

"Those who were using America and Gujarat as examples of failed attempts in prohibition would be well advised that the call for total ban on alcohol that has come out of Bihar would spread in other states and no force in the world would be able to stop it," Kumar said adding just because prohibition had failed in the past did not mean it could not be tried again.

Brimming with confidence in his policy's success regarding ban on alcohol, the Chief Minister, who recently also became the President of his party Janata Dal - United replacing former President Sharad Yadav, said he would now work to impose similar prohibition in the states of Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh in spite of the fact the Janata Dal – U has little or no say in the politics of the two states.

"I have been invited by both Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh to speak about prohibition and how it could be imposed in these states. If the alcohol industry in Bihar went from Rs. 300 crore to Rs. 5,000 crore under my regime then I also have the right to shut down this 'immoral' industry in the state," he said.

Without mentioning the name of his predecessor Jitan Ram Manjhi, Kumar said that 'some' people were trying to provoke the 'Pasi' community by spreading fear about ban on the sale of toddy.

"Don't the Pasis have the right to come out of the shackles of poverty that is mostly caused by their reluctance to leave their ancestral profession? Toddy is as harmful as hard liquor. I will promote 'Neera' industry in Bihar on the line of Sudha Dairy," he said.

Kumar accused the BJP of trying to spread communalism in the nation.

"Dalit students are forced to commit suicide and hard-working students are being implicated in false cases of anti-national activities. The BJP has no right to celebrate the birth anniversary of Dr. Ambedkar because they do not represent his ideas," he said.

Earlier, Kumar and Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind paid floral homage to Dr. B. R. Ambedkar at his statue near Patna High Court.

Other parties including the BJP, Congress, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP), and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) also raced to claim the 'ownership' of Dr. Ambedkar by organizing functions of their own.

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