NEW DELHI: Criticising Delhi government’s new excise policy, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Hans Raj Hans on Monday said that the policy would increase liquor consumption and encourage women to drink. The northwest Delhi MP was at a press conference organised by the Delhi BJP on ‘referendum’ to be conducted to seek the public opinion about the excise policy.
The Sufi-singer turned politician added that women drinking at ‘pink thekas’ (liquor vends exclusively for women) would encourage them to initiate domestic violence. “Earlier, a man would get drunk and ill-treat women. What will happen when a woman comes home drunk? She will slap the husband. We should inculcate good values in mothers, sisters, daughters, and children instead of promoting alcoholism. Instead of spreading spirituality, the government is encouraging ‘pink thekas’ in the city,” said Hans.
Expressing his concerns, the minister said that he is not sure about the fate of the national capital if opening of liquor vends is not stopped. “Whoever is concerned about their loved ones will join the campaign. Would it seem nice if a woman comes home drunk? They will pass out on the streets and in drains of the city,” the MP added.
According to the government official, there are no exclusive outlets proposed for women or ‘pink thekas’ under the revised policy but the licensee is free to operate a dedicated counter to facilitate them. The BJP has been opposing the policy since it was rolled out in November, mainly to augment its revenue and prevent illicit liquor trading. “A referendum will be held on March 4 at 1,120 places in which the opinion of around 10 lakh city residents will be taken on this issue,” said Delhi BJP president Adesh Gupta.
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As per the government official, there are no exclusive outlets proposed for women under the revised policy but the licensee is free to operate a dedicated counter to facilitate them.