Terming the notification of the Bihar Prohibition and Excise Act, 2016 as 'anti-people', the Bihar unit of the BJP has condemned the new prohibition law that comes with harsher provisions, reported Hindustan Times.
At the core committee meeting on Sunday, BJP state president Mangal Pandey, was quoted by the newspaper as saying that the party is not opposed to prohibition, but to the harsher provisions of the Act.
The new inclusions which they termed not practical and definitely anti-people were: Property confiscation, collective fine and imprisonment of all adult members of the family in case of seizure of alcohol in the premises.
On Saturday, the BJP had asked Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to reconsider the government's decision to implement the new liquor law with the same provisions as the one scrapped by Patna High Court and suggested convening of an all-party meeting to discuss prohibition in future.
"The Bihar government should not make it a prestige issue and reconsider implementing the new liquor law from 2 October, which has the same provisions as in the 5 April notification, which was quashed by HC," said senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi.
Two days after the Patna High Court struck down the 5 April notification on prohibition, Kumar had convened a high-level Cabinet meeting to go ahead with bringing the new liquor law.
Asserting that the BJP was never in favour of the 'Talibani' liquor law, he said the government should enforce the new prohibition law only after incorporating certain amendments so that it is not quashed again by the high court.
"The government should not be adamant on implementing the new liquor law from 2 October without giving much thought to the high court verdict. It can wait for another 10 days or so and in the meantime, it can convene an all-party meeting to discuss the issue," said Sushil Modi.
The government could bring an ordinance in this regard and if required a special session of the Legislature could be convened to pass a completely new law by incorporating amendments for prohibition in future, he said.
The former deputy chief minister said the excise law which was struck down had stringent provisions like community fine, confiscation of premises, personal punishments, both physical and monetary, including the arrest for possessing liquor bottle.
Asked to comment on Nitish Kumar's adamant stand, the BJP leader said the chief minister was hunting for some alibi to get rid of the alcohol ban.
"In the past six months, Nitish Kumar has got the experience that it was very difficult to implement prohibition in the state and hence he is looking for some excuses and opportunity to say that he wanted to implement it but the high court came in the way," he said.
With inputs from PTI