Prohibition: BJP stalls House over CM's remarks on party, BSY

Siddaramaiah puts onus on Centre over liquor ban

Prohibition: BJP stalls House over CM's remarks on party, BSY

The Assembly, on Tuesday, was on a high with Congress and BJP members indulging in a 'spirited' argument on who should initiate prohibition, even as Chief Minister Siddaramaiah ruled out a total ban on liquor in the state.

The heated discussion resulted in the House being adjourned thrice and also witnessed slogan shouting by BJP and Congress members.

It all began with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, in reply to a question by C T Ravi (BJP), ruling out the government imposing prohibition in the state. "It is impossible. Prohibition has never been a success in any state. It has led to the sale of spurious liquor and taking a toll on people's health, besides having an adverse impact on the economy," he said.

However, Siddaramaiah said if Prime Minister Narendra Modi brought in a national policy on prohibition, then the state government will support it.

Ravi said it was the BJP, during the coalition government in the state, that had taken the initiative to ban arrack. "We have taken the first step, now take it forward and impose total prohibition," he said.

However, Siddaramaiah said banning of arrack only complicated matters. "After arrack ban, the poor switched to liquor. Earlier, for arrack, they spent Rs 40, today they have to spend Rs 150," he said.

He said during the JD(S)-BJP coalition government, when H D Kumaraswamy was chief minister, (the then deputy chief minister and BJP leader) B S Yeddyurappa opposed arrack ban. "It was following pressure from Kumaraswamy that arrack was banned," Siddaramaiah said.

BJP members were on their feet, saying Siddaramaiah was making an "irresponsible statement" and the same should be expunged from the records.

The House had to be adjourned twice following the heated exchange of words between the opposition and treasury benches. Siddaramaiah was heard saying that the BJP members had no shame or ethics.

BJP members entered the well of the House, objecting to Siddaramaiah's comments and also demanding that the remark on Yeddyurappa and also on the BJP be expunged.

In his ruling, Koliwad said Siddarmaiah's remark on Yeddyurappa cannot be expunged as there was nothing derogatory about it.

As the din continued, Speaker K B Koliwad adjourned the House again, this time for lunch.

Late in the afternoon, Koliwad convened a consensus meeting with leaders of the Congress and BJP in his chambers.

The BJP legislators withdrew their dharna after Koliwad assured them that he will look into whether any "unparliamentary" words had been used during the discussion against the BJP.

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