All-party meet on prohibition leaves Nitish baffled

In a unusual gesture, Kumar chose not to speak to the media when the all-party meeting he had convened ended.

Published: 22nd November 2016 09:08 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd November 2016 09:08 PM   |  A+A-

Nitish Kumar_AFP

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar(File |AFP)

Express News Service

PATNA: Standing at the crossroads over the contentious prohibition law, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday gave a patient hearing to the views of leaders of all political parties in the state, but refrained from making any statement on the issue.

In a unusual gesture, Kumar chose not to speak to the media when the all-party meeting he had convened ended. “The parliamentary affairs minister would speak on this,” he said before walking ahead, giving the impression of what analysts termed as a “perplexed” chief minister weighing the options before himself.

Significantly, the all-party meeting was held a day after the three-party alliance government Kumar heads had released its annual performance report, which shows the government taking special pride for implementing the total prohibition law. 

Parliamentary affairs minister Sharavan Kumar said the meeting resulted in gathering of several “useful” opinions on the prohibition issue. “The government would consider all these opinions before reaching any decision,” he added.

But deputy chief minister Tejaswi Yadav betrayed the government’s continuing stand when he spoke to journalists after the meeting. “The Opposition parties are complaining aloud by citing mainly the troubles caused to the people by the liquor ban. The people are also facing so many troubles caused by the ban on two currency notes. They (NDA government) did not convene an all-party meeting, but we did because we want that this (liquor ban) should be implemented with all parties in agreement,” he said.

The main Opposition BJP said Kumar convened the meeting due to “fear” about the Supreme Court’s scrutiny of the “draconian provisions” in the prohibition law implemented in Bihar seven months ago. “Earlier, when this law was being debated, we had offered the same suggestions that we did again today. But this government does not heed to voices in the Opposition,” said BJP state president Mangal Pandey.

CPI (M-L) leader Sudama Prasad said liquor keeps being freely available in Bihar despite the ban and that a nexus of police officials and traders is making quick bucks due to the government’s negligence. “The government should pay attention to other more important issues in the state that hardly get discussed,” said the leftist legislator.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp