Bihar takes oath against liquor under CM Nitish Kumar
Nitish Kumar, the chief minister of eastern Indian state of Bihar. (Photo by MONEY SHARMA/AFP via Getty Images)
NITISH Kumar, the chief minister of the eastern Indian state of Bihar, along with several public servants of the state, on Friday (26) took an oath to abstain from consumption of alcohol for the rest of their lives.
The move was made to assert that the law to prohibit liquor in Bihar will be enforced “more effectively”.
Kumar, who leads the Janata Dal (United) is serving his third term as the chief minister since 2015, appealed to people to cooperate in the mission as “liquor is bad for health and society”, Press Trust of India reported.
“Liquor consumption is not just bad but also dangerous. The recent hooch-related deaths in the state must be highlighted to spread this message to people,” Kumar said at Gyan Bhawan in state capital Patna.
The chief minister also said that the rise in the number of tourists visiting Bihar over the past few years proves the fact that the prohibition of alcohol did not discourage those visiting the state.
Kumar’s government, of which prime minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party is a part, imposed a ban on consumption of alcohol in 2016.
During the programme, Kumar took a pledge to stay away from all activities involving liquor.
“I, Nitish Kumar, today on November 26, 2011, at the premise of Gyan Bhawan, with complete probity taking oath that I will not consume liquor for the whole life. Whether I be on duty or not, I will not indulge in liquor-involving activities even in daily life,” he said.
His cabinet colleagues and other elected representatives also followed suit. Besides government officials, students at different schools and colleges also joined the chief minister in taking the pledge.
Kumar also flagged off a rath (chariot) the same day to create awareness among the masses about the ill-effects of consuming liquor.
He asked the state officials to enforce the law more effectively and without any discrimination.
“The number of tourists visiting Bihar has increased after the prohibition. The tourism sector has received a boost,” Kumar said, adding, “All law enforcement agencies must ensure proper implementation of the ban across the state, he said, adding that strict action will be taken against all violators, including government officials.”
The chief minister also justified recent police raids at weddings in Bihar to check violation of prohibition laws. “When the police get inputs, they take action. The law enforcement agencies got to do their jobs,” he said.
The police in Patna recently raided several hotels and wedding halls in Patna and arrested many people on charges of consuming and supplying alcohol.
Kumar also claimed that the incidents of crime and accidents have fallen since the law was implemented five years ago.
“Some people have turned against us. They feel bad, but this is wrong. This law was implemented with the consent of all,” he said.
He also presented on the occasion certificates of appreciation to0 31 officials, including policemen, for their role in enforcing the prohibition of liquor.
“The World Health Organisation has enumerated a list of diseases that result from drinking, which I keep highlighting. The state government has once again started a campaign to spread awareness about the ill-effects of drinking,” the chief minister said.
Hooch has claimed nearly 50 lives in different districts of Bihar since Diwali this year.