Patna: Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, speaking at a national convention on 'Alcohol-Free India' in Delhi on Sunday, expressed his conviction in prohibition policy saying it should be implemented throughout the nation for the benefit of the people.
Kumar, with his rather questionable track record in Bihar on the economic, education, healthcare, and crime fronts despite repeated promise of prosperity for the last 15 years, as part of a calculated political strategy, appears to have all but abandoned the issues that affect the citizens on a day-to-day basis while increasingly relying on social issues like ban on alcohol, tobacco products, and a chaste lifestyle.
"Prohibition should be imposed in the entire nation and Bihar is the role model for all other states. The myth that prohibition affect state revenue adversely has been refuted and Bihar is an example of it," the Janata Dal-U leader, who has emerged as one of the biggest supporters of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after going back to the NDA a few years ago following a brief stint with the Grand Alliance, said.
In his long speech that was heard by many of his counterparts and other guests, Kumar made the case for prohibition defending it by saying it was necessary to ban alcohol from social, religious, and scientific angles as well.
"Prohibition has brought peace and prosperity in Bihar as indicated by rising number of tourists in the state but the people who have benefited from it the most are the poor folks who were earlier spending all of their earnings on alcohol while neglecting their family needs. The loss of Rs. 5000 crore that occurred because of prohibition is being compensated by improvement in other services," the Chief Minister said in defense of his alcohol policy.
Reacting to complaints of people's civic rights being violated due to prohibition policy, Kumar cited the Supreme Court saying even the nation's top court opined that drinking alcohol was not a fundamental right and neither was engaging in business involving sale of liquor.
Touting the success of 'human chain' event that has been adopted by him as an annual state-sponsored program, the Janata Dal-U leader said Bihar was showing the world how to live a better life that did not involve indulging in alcoholic drinks.
The Chief Minister, as in most of his recent speeches, bragged about his 'Jal Jeevan Hariyali' scheme that, like prohibition, he said, will usher Bihar into a developed state.