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When the former Chief Minister Uma Bharti announced a campaign to ban liquor, the government came to the back foot. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan started a public awareness campaign in Ratlam before Umabharati got on the road.
- CM Shivraj announces public awareness campaign for prohibition in Ratlam on February 4
The Shivraj government has been mulling over increasing the number of liquor shops, but BJP’s Fire Brand leader and former Chief Minister Umabharati has made his intentions clear. She will begin her campaign for liquor ban in MP from 8 March. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan is seen surrounded by his announcement. Actually, Shivraj knows that Umabharati always has a habit of playing on the front foot.
This is the reason that after Bharti’s statement of liquor ban, the Chief Minister also started a campaign against prohibition in Ratlam on 4 February. He tied the hands with the workers and raised both hands and made a resolution for prohibition.
Experts believe that before the civic body elections, the impact of Umabharati’s campaign can harm the BJP. Umabharati is preparing to give a big agitation to the liquor ban campaign. They are going to start it from Tikamgarh. Firstly, a strategy has been made to close the liquor shop of his home village Dunda. Women have opposed the opening of liquor shops in this village with a population of 500.
Umabharati has said that women are more upset due to the habit of alcoholism of the head of the family and they will all help me to close the liquor shops. Information about this preparation has reached the government through intelligence.
Umabharati had said that the roadmap of the campaign would be made public in the next few days. Now the government is in the breath because Umabharati has the image of a stubborn and frivolous leader. She herself believes that she lives by doing what she is determined to do.
The way Umabharati is showing her attitude, it is clear that the discussion on the new politics of liquor has started within the BJP with the Congress. The state government, which is struggling with the economic crisis, was considering increasing the number of liquor shops to increase its income, but due to political turmoil, it had to go on the backfoot. The government used to increase shops on the pretext of Corona, but is now on the backfoot.
Actually, Uma Bharti is not the only politician in Madhya Pradesh who has demanded liquor ban. Occasionally voices have been raised about this. Sometimes demands arise from social organizations, sometimes there are talks about it within political parties. Amid the demand for liquor ban, till date the government has not been able to find the answer to the question that if the liquor is banned in the entire state, where will the revenue from it be compensated?
Four years ago, Shivraj started the prohibition campaign
This is not the first time that a campaign is being started in the state regarding liquor ban. Earlier, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan had launched a public awareness campaign in the third term in the year 2017. In the first phase, about 58 liquor shops were closed 5 km off the coast of Narmada. Then Shivraj had said that the state government would move slowly towards complete prohibition. At that time a provision was made to suspend driving license for the first time for 6 months and second time for 2 years under the new Excise Policy.
Still shops and government’s earnings increased
2019-20 8 thousand 521 crores
2021-21 10 thousand 318 crores
(There are now 3605 shops in the state, only 2770 ten years ago)