Led by CM, Bihar takes oath against liquor consumption

Led by CM Nitish Kumar, Bihar takes pledge against liquor consumption

CM Nitish Kumar appealed to people to cooperate in the mission as 'liquor is bad for health and society'

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. Credit: PTI File Photo

Asserting that the liquor prohibition law in Bihar will be enforced "more effectively" henceforth, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, along with other public servants of the state, on Friday took an oath to abstain from alcohol consumption for the rest of their lives.

The CM appealed to people to cooperate in the mission as "liquor is bad for health and society".

"Liquor consumption is not just bad but also dangerous. The recent hooch-related deaths in the state must be highlighted to spread this message to people," said Kumar at Gyan Bhawan. He also pointed out that the rise in the number of tourists over the past few years is a significant pointer to the fact that the prohibition was not a detriment for those visiting Bihar.

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Kumar, during the programme, took a pledge to keep away from all activities involving liquor.

"I, Nitish Kumar, today on November 26, 2011, at the premise of Gyan Bhawan, with complete probity taking oath that I will not consume liquor for the whole life. Whether I be on duty or not, I will not indulge in liquor-involving activities even in daily life,” he pronounced. His cabinet colleagues and other elected representatives followed suit.

Several government officials, students at different schools and colleges, employees of Bihar Vidhan Sabha secretariat joined Kumar in taking the pledge.

The JD(U) supremo, during the day, also flagged off a rath (chariot) that would create awareness among the masses about the ill effects of drinking liquor. He appealed to state officials to enforce the law more effectively without any discrimination.

The Nitish Kumar government had in 2016 imposed a ban on alcohol consumption. Defending his government's move, the CM said, "The number of tourists visiting Bihar has increased after the prohibition. The tourism sector has received a boost."

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All law enforcement agencies must ensure proper implementation of the ban across the state, he said, adding that strict action will be taken against all violators, including government officials.

Justifying recent police raids at weddings, carried out to check violation of prohibition laws, the CM said, "When the police get inputs, they take action. The law enforcement agencies got to do their jobs."

The Patna police recently raided several hotels and wedding halls in the state capital and arrested several persons on charges of consuming and supplying liquor. Kumar further said that incidents of crime and accidents have dipped since the implementation of the legislation in 2016.

"Some people have turned against us. They feel bad, but this is wrong... This law was implemented with the consent of all," he said.

The CM also presented certificates of appreciation to 31 officials, including policemen, for their role in enforcing the prohibition.

“The World Health Organisation (WHO) has enumerated a list of diseases that result from drinking, which I keep highlighting. The state government has once again started a campaign to spread awareness about the ill-effects of drinking," the CM added.

Hooch has claimed close to 50 lives in different districts of the state since Diwali.

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