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State firm on prohibition in phased manner, says Thangamani

Justifying the ruling AIADMK’s liquor policy, state Prohibition Minister P Thangamani on Monday said there was no second thought in implementing prohibition in a phased manner.

State firm on prohibition in phased manner, says Thangamani
State Prohibition Minister P Thangamani


Intervening during a debate on demand for grants for his department, Thangamani informed the House that the government would first raise awareness among the people and then close the shops. 

Noting that liquor sale has shot up by 30 per cent in Puducherry, the Minister reasoned that it was not due to spurt in consumption in the Union Territory, but because of people from Villupuram and Cuddalore buying liquor from there. 

Hence, it was imperative to first educate the people before enforcing total prohibition, he stated. Recalling the closure of 1,000 TASMAC shops in two phases since the party stormed into power in 2016, Thangamani said the government does not want people to take to illicit arrack and so the phased enforcement of prohibition. 

Responding to Leader of Opposition MK Stalin’s criticism of the government promoting a police officer, who had allegedly assaulted women during anti-liquor protests in Tiruppur, the Minister said that full inquiry was happening, before reasoning that promotion could not be stopped due to mere pendency of a charge. 

He also reasoned that no TASMAC shop violating rules was present in the state, particularly at the said place in Tirupur where there was no house within 500 metres from the shop. Refusing to name them, the Minister accused a few political parties and anti-social elements of inciting agitations against TASMAC shops with some vested interest. 

Charging such parties with trying to create a law and order situation and use it to their advantage against the state, Thangamani further wondered if it was fair on such parties to incite people with a hidden agenda.

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