India. Akhilesh advises people to ‘drink less’

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Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday remained non-committal on banning liquor in the State even as he advised people to “drink less”.

“The decision on banning liquor cannot be taken in haste. Interest of cane farmers and employment of lakhs of people in liquor shops are related with this. Presently, we can only advise people to drink less (liquor),” Mr Yadav said.

The Chief Minister’s remarks have come against the backdrop of his Bihar counterpart Nitish Kumar recently advising him to ban liquor in his State.

Mr Kumar had said, “ Waqt ke saath doosre tareekon se iski poorti ki jaa sakti hai” (The losses incurred due to revenue loss can be offset by other ways).

He had also sought support from Uttar Pradesh to ensure prohibition in bordering areas.

Mr Yadav was here to launch and lay foundation stones of several development projects worth over Rs 400 crore.

The SP spokesperson, Rajendra Chaudhary, had, however, criticised Mr Kumar accusing him of making “negative comments” against Uttar Pradesh and thus emboldening communal forces against which the U.P. government is fighting.

Attacking the BSP, Mr Yadav said the previous government did “nothing” and only concentrated on installing statues of Mayawati and making memorials.

“Now they have also started talking of development. Buaji (as Akhilesh calls Mayawati) is now realising that she suffered loss due to her work,” he said.

Highlighting his government’s works, Mr Yadav said soon police force would be modernised and after receiving an emergency call it will reach within 15 minutes for help.