Chhattisgarh liquor ban: Bhupesh Baghel cabinet rejects report of committee set-up by BJP government 

The state cabinet meeting chaired by the chief minister Bhupesh Baghel held at the state secretariat on Tuesday said the new team's report will be submitted to the state government within two months.

Published: 01st January 2019 09:55 PM  |   Last Updated: 01st January 2019 09:55 PM   |  A+A-

Bhupesh Baghel, the new Chhattisgarh CM (Photo | PTI)

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel (File Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

RAIPUR: The Congress government in Chhattisgarh has rejected the report of the 11-member committee constituted during the previous Raman Singh government to study liquor ban, calling the findings as “Impractical” and decided to create a new team that will look into the impact of prohibition in the state.

The state cabinet meeting chaired by the chief minister Bhupesh Baghel held at the state secretariat on Tuesday said the new team's report will be submitted to the state government within two months.

In March 2017, the BJP government approved the new excise policy and decided to sell liquor only through its retail outlets, which will be administered by the government-owned corporation, and further the auction was discontinued of liquor shop licenses. The then opposition Congress party expressed disproved the government’s move.

Ahead of the 2018 Assembly polls, the Congress party in its manifesto promised alcohol prohibition. The cabinet approved to carry out an investigation into the PDS scam on which the Congress has been targeting the Raman government over the alleged Rs 36000 crore. A Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by the inspector general rank police officer will be constituted to conduct the investigation.

“The earlier inquiry into the PDS scam has left several significant clues. Now the investigation will be carried out taking every involved facet into consideration”, said the senior ministers Ravindra Choubey and Mohammed Akbar after the cabinet meeting.

The Chhattisgarh Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) probing the irregularities in supply of rice under the PDS presented a 25-page challan a month and a half ago, along with the CDs, pen-drive, mobile phones and related documents before a special judge in Raipur. The scam was exposed on February 12, 2015, during the ACB/EOW extensive raids. 17 people were also arrested then.

The Bhupesh government has clarified that every action will be taken in accordance to the law and would not be witch-hunting or vindictive.

The cabinet further endorsed a proposal to bring a government resolution during the upcoming Assembly session to raise the strength of ministers from 15 to 20 per cent of the state legislative assembly. Few days ago the CM Baghel had written to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking a Constitutional amendment in Article 164 (1A) for bigger council of ministers for Chhattisgarh keeping in perspective the population and the area (the CM cited bigger than Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Telangana and West Bengal).

The first session of the new Chhattisgarh Assembly will be held from January 4.

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