BHOPAL: Senior BJP leader Uma Bharti on Friday sought total prohibition in the party-ruled Madhya Pradesh, a demand endorsed by her colleague and Lok Sabha MP Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur who, however, added that "liquor works as a medicine under ayurved if consumed in a limited quantity".
The BJP government in Madhya Pradesh has just unveiled a new excise policy under which it has permitted setting up of home bars and slashed retail prices of liquor by 20 per cent.
Former chief minister Bharti, in a series of tweets in Hindi, said in the first phase of her move for total prohibition, she had discussions with senior RSS workers, Madhya Pradesh BJP president Vishnu Dutt Sharma and Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
"Will start the next phase from February 14, liquor ban and total prohibition in Madhya Pradesh will certainly take place," she said.
She clarified that her campaign for liquor ban was not against the state government.
"It is against liquor and intoxication. But it is difficult to make those who are sitting in power understand," the former Union minister said.
BJP's Bhopal MP Thakur also favoured a ban on liquor in the state.
Answering a question on the issue on Thursday during an event here, Thakur said, "Liquor prohibition is a must. Because (liquor consumption) leads to clashes in homes which is unbearable, this also forces many people to commit suicide. People get into depression and even many women end their lives because of it."
"Women don't drink, but when their husbands consume liquor it leads to all kinds of atrocities. So, these narcotics should be banned," the Lok Sabha MP stated.
In a video on social media posted by the Madhya Pradesh Congress, Thakur, while answering a query, is heard saying, "Whether liquor is cheap or costly, it works as a medicine in ayurved if used in a limited quantity. In a limited quantity, it is a medicine while in an unlimited one it is a poison. People should understand this."
Under the new excise policy for 2022-23, the government has allowed sale of liquor at all airports in the state and also select supermarkets in four big cities.
Moreover, the government has made a provision of issuing home bar licenses to those earning Rs one crore or more annually.