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Tejashwi Prasad slams Nitish Kumar over liquor rule tweaks

The RJD leader said hundreds of people died in different parts of the state after consuming them
Tejashwi Prasad Yadav.
Tejashwi Prasad Yadav.
File photo

Dev Raj   |   Patna   |   Published 06.04.22, 12:55 AM

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav attacked Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday over the repeated amendments of the prohibition law and said they were being done to confuse the people.

He also asserted that the amendments indicated the failure of the liquor ban in the state.


“One single law (prohibition law) is repeatedly being amended. Nobody has a clear picture of how many times this has been done. Amendments are made only when a law is not successful. The government is accepting that the liquor ban has flopped and chief minister Nitish Kumar has failed in implementing it,” Tejashwi told reporters outside his residence.

Pointing out that it was the collective failure of the administration, police and Nitish that hooch and poisonous liquor were available, Tejashwi said that hundreds of people died in different parts of the state after consuming them.

“Nitish has entangled and confused people among the amendments. It was the duty of the administration to implement the liquor ban, but it did not happen,” he said.

Bihar has seen 97 hooch deaths this calendar year. The toll stands at 297 since January 2021. The state imposed a total ban on liquor in April 2016.

Tejashwi’s comments came on the heels of the state cabinet’s nod to an amendment to the prohibition and excise rules on Monday in the light of the Bihar Prohibition and Excise (Amendment) Bill, 2022 passed by the legislature on March 30.

The amended rules stipulate that the police or excise officer will immediately produce a person arrested on the charges of consuming liquor for the first time before an executive magistrate. He shall be sentenced to pay a fine of Rs 2,000 to Rs 5,000 in normal circumstances or undergo 30 days of simple imprisonment if he refuses to pay the amount.

If an accused requests for some additional time to arrange for the fine, the executive magistrate will refer him to simple imprisonment till then.

Any person, previously convicted in any case related to consuming liquor, shall not be released on the payment of fine if caught inebriated again, and shall be awarded one year simple imprisonment.

Tejashwi, who happens to be the leader of Opposition in the Bihar Legislative Assembly, also raised the issue of the recent incident in Bakhtiyarpur where a youth slapped Nitish.

“The entire country saw the rare incident. The chief minister was attacked, but nobody was able to do anything. No action was taken on any senior officer. When the chief minister himself is not safe, imagine the condition of the public. A rape happens every four hours in the state and a person is murdered every five hours,” Tejashwi said.

The RJD leader did not spare the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is a part of the Nitish-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government here. He attacked it for discussing the need in Bihar for the so-called ‘Yogi model’ of governance, named after Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath.

“The deputy chief minister, who is from the BJP, is discussing the need for the ‘Yogi model’ in Bihar. This means that the party doesn’t have a single leader fit to be the chief minister here.

Tejashwi condemned the attack on migrant workers from Bihar in Kashmir and said that the people were forced to leave the state due to the lack of employment opportunities.

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