Thiruvananthapuram: Slamming CPI(M) for expressing reservations over total prohibition and instead batting for liqour abstinence, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Wednesday said their aim was to do away with the Congress led UDF government's liqour policy.
"The UDF government has implemented a liqour policy without diluting it, while CPI(M) is keen to do away with it. But the people of the state will not allow this," he said speaking at a UDF election convention at nearby Malayankeezhu. Chandy was reacting to the statement of CPI(M) politburo member Pinarayi Vijayan earlier in the day that total prohibition was not practical and if LDF comes to power, it would encourage abstinence.
Vijayan had said LDF would hold a campaign in the state with anti-liquor outfits on the ill effects of liquor and that CPI(M) was not a party that encourages liquor.
CPI(M) state secretary Kodieryi Balakrishnan had also said they were against total prohibition. KPCC President V M Sudheeran had also hit out at Vijayan, saying it shows the alleged nexus between the liqour lobby and CPI(M) leaders. Contending that liqour consumption in the state had dipped by about 24 per cent and alcohol consumption had also reduced, he said Bihar had imposed a total ban on liqour and people of Tamil nadu were also demanding a Kerala model liqour policy.
The UDF government's liquor policy which came into force in 2014, restricted Indian Made Foreign Liquor bars to Five Star category hotels and shut down more than 700 other bars while envisaging total prohibition in ten years. The policy has become one of the major campaign planks in the May 16 Assembly polls.