CHANDIGARH: With 10 per cent of gram panchayats in Haryana having passed a resolution to close liquor vends in their villages in the next fiscal, the Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) is a step closer to implementing the promise made in its election manifesto that no liquor vends would be allowed in village limits.
Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala, who has the excise and taxation portfolio with him, on Tuesday said, "It is a big achievement that 10 per cent of village panchayats in the state have written that liquor vends should not be opened in their villages. More than 700 village panchayats passed the
resolutions in their respective panchayats and wrote to the respective district authorities which forwarded their requests to the department. This movement was started by my mother Naina Chautala and is bearing fruit."
On the issue of the Delhi assembly elections, he said, "We have decided that our party will not contest the Delhi polls. This is a unanimous decision by our leadership. But if they (BJP) want, we can campaign for them. Our symbol 'key' and other two symbols which our party was allotted initially by the election commission of India were allotted to other political parties for the Delhi assembly elections in September and December last year. As we want to fight on our symbol and it has not been allotted to us, we will not contest these elections."
Out of the 22 districts in the state, 122 gram panchayats of Rohtak have passed resolutions not to open vends in their respective villages, followed by 90 panchayats in Jind, 85 in Rewari, 69 in Narnaul, 64 in Karnal, 56 in Hisar, 50 in Panipat, 37 in Sonipat, 34 each in Jhajjar and Palwal, 30 in Fatehabad, 27
in Kaithal, 25 in Gurugram, 20 in Yamunanagar, 11 each in Ambala and Sirsa, 8 in Faridabad, 7 in Kurukshetra and 3 in Panchkula.
If these resolutions are accepted by the excise department, then the number of liquor vends in the state will fall from the present 2,500 to 1,800 in 2020-2021. Last year, the state government had asked panchayats not wanting liquor vends in their villages to pass a resolution and submit it before the announcement of the state excise policy for 2020-2021.
Sources in the excise department said that last year 400 village panchayats across the state passed resolutions in this regard but only 100 were given approval by the department as a police report is sought for every resolution. Most of the resolutions were rejected on the grounds of illegal sale of liquor.
Last year in November, the state assembly made an amendment in the Haryana Panchayati Raj Act that liquor sale will be prohibited in a village if 10 per cent of the members of a gram sabha pass a resolution. But the same act also states that liquor ban resolutions will not be binding upon the Excise and Taxation
Commissioner (ETC) if illicit distillation or alcohol smuggling is going on.