Promoting Liquor for Ten Years was a Strategy, Not a Mistake; Says Nitish

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar reviewing preparedness for Champaran Satyagraha centennial celebration.

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Patna: Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, while reviewing preparation for the 100th anniversary celebration of Mahatma Gandhi's Satyagraha movement in Champaran in Patna on Sunday, came up with an explanation for promoting use of alcohol in the first ten years of his rule in Bihar saying he was only trying to regulate the liquor business during his first two terms and when he thought the situation was well within control, he decided to impose prohibition in the state.

Reacting to allegations by his detractors that he was only too happy to allow opening of liquor outlets at each nook and corner of the state as it was bringing in huge sum of revenue in a cash-strapped Bihar, Kumar said that the charges against him were ridiculous as he was only trying to control the liquor market so when the time was ripe, he decided to make Bihar a dry state in the interest of the women of the state.

The Chief Minister is being widely criticized for imposing prohibition in the state as it has resulted in a loss of over Rs. 4000 crore annually to the state exchequer and also for passing strict laws to deal with those who were found defying the prohibition order.

He, however, relented under pressure from his political partner and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav who demanded 'toddy' being excluded from the tough drinking laws.

"The opposition is making a big deal about the revenue loss caused by the prohibition. However, I am here to tell them that not only the loss is not that big but they also need to quit worrying about Bihar as I am here to take care of the state," Kumar, who has been accused of becoming a one man show in Bihar with all power vested in him, said.

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