The Congress state unit, under the presidentship of V M Sudheeran, is all set to give lead to an anti-liquor and substance abuse campaign in the state. The KPCC executive meet which met here on Tuesday while discussing the pros and cons of renewal of licences of 418 sub-standard bars lying closed, became an occasion to have a close look at the dangers posed by the growing levels of consumption of liquor and drugs.
“Liquor and drugs are relegating all the achievements of the state on various fronts,” KPCC president V M Sudheeran told a press meet.
“It was felt that a comprehensive liquor policy is needed in the state ,including a clear-cut plan for implementing it. Along with it, a massive awareness programme at both the official and unofficial-level has to be launched. The executive committee meet has decided to set up a mechanism under the Chief Minister, with the participation of the departments of Excise, Home, Education, Local Self Government, Health, Social Justice and Youth Welfare,” he said.
Sudheeran said the Congress was of the view that political parties have a definite role in the awareness drive. “Hence the Congress is taking the lead for it. Prohibition was the policy of the party during the days of Gandhiji itself. What could be done from the point of view of social good and the basis of a consensus would be looked into,” he said.
“The policy of the Congress on prohibition is consistent. The liquor policy of the UDF Government was very clear with regard to granting licences to hotels starred from three to five. But the court had intervened,” he said.
Asked whether he would show the courage to exclude any office-bearers having connections with liquor business from the party posts, Sudheeran was non-committal.
Sudheeran said that the general opinion and suggestions which had come up in the executive meet would be considered at the KPCC-Government executive meet on Wednesday morning, exclusively dedicated to addresss the issue of 418 contentious bars.
“It has been felt that policy decisions of the government should be discussed at the level of the party and the UDF. A decision would be finally taken at the UDF meet, also slated for Wednesday, after taking all sides of the issue into account,” he said.
Govt Urged to Ban Use of Flex Boards
The meet has decided to urge the State Government to ban the use of flex boards for campaigning in the next local bodies’ polls. “K A Sheeba, UDF candidate in Alathur segment, has set a model by opting not to use flex boards for campaigning. It was a courageous and commendable stand,” Sudheeran said.
KPCC vice-presidents M M Hassan and V D Satheesan, general secretaries Thampanoor Ravi and K P Anil Kumar and treasurer Karakulam Krishna Pillai were also present at the news conference.