Patna, Jan 30 (PTI) Senior RJD leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh said today his party would retain the ban on sale and consumption of liquor, if voted to power in Bihar, but annul the “draconian” provisions of the prohibition law. Also Read - Bihar: 6 Killed, 3 Injured in Road Accident in Katihar's Kursela
The ruling JD(U) attacked Singh, who is RJD vice- president, alleging that his statement proved that the opposition party was hand in glove with illicit liquor mafia. Also Read - Bihar Board Class 10 Students Vandalise Properties at Patna's Boring Road After Social Science Paper Is Cancelled
“We will not scrap the prohibition law, but remove provisions like 10 years’ imprisonment, confiscation of property etc. The current prohibition law is draconian,” Singh, a former Union minister, said. Also Read - Bihar Student Reaches Board Exam Centre in High Fever To Save Year, Dies
The current prohibition law provides for putting an entire family behind the bars if one member of it violates the ban on sale and consumption of liquor, he said.
“If voted to power, we will also do away with the provision for subjecting people to breath analyzer tests. Nor would we allow the police to harass people in the name of enforcing the law,” the RJD leader said.
The police can stop a vehicle driver on the road and direct him or her to take a breath analyser test if the officer suspects that the motorist may be driving under the influence of alcohol.
JD(U) spokesman Ajay Alok claimed that with Singh’s comments the RJD’s “nexus” with illicit liquor mafia now stands exposed.
“RJD has been attacking the Nitish Kumar government over prohibition, calling his radical step a failure and questioning its implementation. But the opposition party now stands exposed,” he said, adding there is no point in having a law without teeth.
Total prohibition was introduced in Bihar in 2016, when the RJD was sharing power with the JD(U) in the state. RJD leaders had also supported a human chain event in January last year at the instance of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in support of prohibition policy.
After Kumar’s exit from the Grand Alliance over corruption charges against the then deputy chief minister and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, the party has been critical of the prohibition policy.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.