In their manifesto released for the upcoming Telangana state assembly elections which will be held on 7th December, the BJP promised to regulate liquor sale in the state. Claiming that the unrestricted availability and consumption was leading to several social as well as law and order problems in the state, the BJP proposed that the sale of liquor will be restricted to only five days a week.
“Alcohol addiction is wrecking many households in Telangana. It is also the main cause for marital discord, robberies, sexual assaults, suicides, and brawls. We will totally regulate the sale of liquor in the state if we come to power. BJP will not consider liquor sales as a major source of revenue for the government,” said the Chairman of BJP’s manifesto committee, NVS S Prabhakar. He mentioned that this decision had been taken after discussions at the highest level.
The consumption of liquor has been leading to several atrocities against women in Telangana, along with suicides and several other law and order issues. The sale of liquor would be restricted to 5 days a week, with fixed timings to be maintained by liquor stores. “After 6pm, no wine shop or bar will be open. There will be a total ban on liquor during weekends,” he added.
The manifesto also promises cancellation of surcharge fares by state-run Road Transport Corporation (RTC) buses during festival seasons and free transportation to those taking up ‘Deeksha’ (religious code of behaviour) for visiting temples, including Sabarimala. Furthermore, a total waiver of taxes on petrol and diesel is promised which may lower the price of fuel by Rs. 20
The BJP also plans to constitute a task force to protect lands belonging to religious places like temples, waqf and churches in the state. Prabhakar added that no other party had been sensitive to this particular issue so far but “we will protect lands of religious institutions from encroachment,’’ he said.
Several more proposals by the BJP manifesto include free online and offline coaching for youth who appear for competitive exams and the provision of safe drinking water for Rs. 6 per month per household. “The provision of such minimum facilities should not be viewed like a profit-loss proposition. They should be seen as a source of income,” Prabhakar asserted.
Earlier in September, Telangana chief minister KC Rao dissolved the state assembly, thereby advancing the state elections by almost six months. The BJP had five seats in the now-dissolved 119-member assembly.