Deadlock over bar licences in Kerala

Divided opinions within the Congress party continue to delay the reopening of 418 liquor bars in Kerala that were forced to close down since April 1 for having failed to maintain prescribed quality standards.

The deadlock over the issue has become a stumbling block for the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) government. A crucial UDF meeting on Tuesday failed to take a step forward towards the reopening of the bars.

 Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president V M Sudheeran has taken a strong stance against their reopening while other senior Congress leaders desire that he adopt a “more practical” stand.

Minister for Excise K Babu met Sudheeran on Tuesday to apprise him on the government’s stance on issuing bar licences. Sudheeran told reporters after the meeting that no breakthrough was made at the talks. 

The KPCC chief will have another round of talks with Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala on Wednesday, party sources said.

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