Janta Dal United (JDU) leader Upendra Kushwaha | Photo: ANI
Hajipur (Bihar): In an embarrassment for the Bihar government and its Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, JD (U) leader and the party's national parliamentary board chairman Upendra Kushwaha has said that the liquor ban has been unsuccessful in Bihar and the citizens of the state have to come forward to make it successful.
Kushwaha was speaking to reporters in Sighada village of Mahua area of Hajipur district and said that the liquor ban will never be successful only by the government's efforts.
He said, "It cannot be implemented successfully without public will and support."
"Can't you see how successful this ban is? It's a chain between the suppliers and the consumers, and if the sale of liquor is stopped in Bihar, its consumption will also stop," the senior JD (U) leader said.
"Though the ban on liquor has not been successful in Bihar, the society has benefitted from the prohibition enormously," he said.
Kushwaha also appealed to the people of Bihar to come forward and help the government in ensuring a complete ban on liquor.
Kushwaha's statement has caused a major embarrassment to the Nitish Kumar government, and it came after Bihar CM Nitish Kumar ordered for strict implementation of the prohibition law by cracking down on liquor suppliers.
Liquor has been banned in Bihar since April 2016 with severe punishment, up to a 10-year jail term. In March this year, the Liquor Amendment Bill was also passed by the Nitish government and implemented the same from April 1.
Reacting to Kushwaha's statement, BJP leader and state spokesman Nikhil Anand said that he agrees with what Kushawah has said.
"It is true that the liquor ban has not been successful in Bihar, and crime has increased. People of the state are fed up with a parallel economy running in the name of the ban on liquor and crime cases," Anand said in a tweet.