Paswan says toddy a health drink

Paswan says toddy a health drink

Paswan says toddy a health drink
Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Monday slammed Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for destroying the trade of toddy in the name of prohibition in the state.

Terming toddy a “natural juice”, which is also the “health drink” of the poor, Paswan asked Nitish to roll-back on his decision to ban toddy under total prohibition.

Staging a dharna here in support of the toddy tappers, the Union minister blasted Nitish for his double standards. “Nitish is a fine actor. First, he opened thousands of liquor shops in the last one decade, which, in turn, made gullible youths addicted to it (liquor).

Now, suddenly, he is trying to become a saint by imposing prohibition. In the process, he has banned toddy too, which has destroyed the livelihood of the poor Pasi community (which is engaged in toddy trade),” said Paswan.

Arguing that toddy was a natural juice, Paswan asked Lalu Prasad why he was silent on the issue when he, as the Bihar chief minister in 1991, had kept toddy out of the Excise Act and allowed free trade of the traditional beverages.

Paswan is the second Dalit leader after Jitan Ram Manjhi who has spoken openly in favour of toddy tappers, mostly Pasis (the poor Dalits).

Four arrested

Meanwhile, four persons were arrested with liquor bottles when the railway police raided Rajdhani Express, Sampoorna Kranti Express and Shramjeevi Express here on Monday. Among those arrested included pantry car staff too, who had helped some passengers procure liquor.
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