India. A question to Congress, on bars in Karnataka

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Communist Party of India (CPI) State secretary Kanam Rajendran has questioned the sincerity of the Congress in implementing its liquor policy as the same party was busy sanctioning hundreds of bars in neighbouring Karnataka.

Speaking to mediapersons on the sidelines of the party’s pre-election roadshow ‘Janakeeya Yatra’ here on Thursday, Mr. Rajendran wanted Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi to clarify on the issue. He said the Congress government in Karnataka was in the process of sanctioning 1,500 bars, most of them in areas bordering Kerala.

Reacting to a question Mr. Rajendran said the Left Democratic Front stance on liquor policy was clear as the front stood for temperance and not liquor ban. The details of the policy would be delineated either in the election manifesto or after coming to power. The CPI leader alleged that the government claim on closing down the bars was false as 418 of them had already been turned into beer and wine parlours.

“This has resulted in soaring consumption of beer which has gone up by 95 per cent and that of wine, by 131.7 per cent. There has also been a quantum jump in the consumption of hard liquor in December compared to November,” he said. On the expansion of LDF base, Mr. Rajendran said parties would be inducted on the basis of their policies. Kerala Congress (M) should first redefine its policies and specifically reject their support for the regional trade agreement with ASEAN for the LDF to consider its induction into the coalition, he said.