LDF policy is 'liquor abstention', not 'liquor ban': Kodiyeri

Kerala church up against Pinarayi Vijayan govt's liquor policy

This liquor policy is going to be even more risky, a (bigger) disaster than the Ockhi cyclone.

Ramakrishnan said the campaign that the number of liquor outlets in the state has gone up was wrong.

On the basis of a recent Supreme Court order, the government on Friday night issued the order allowing reopening of liquor outlets, bars, beer and wine parlours in panchayats with a population of 10,000 from April 2.

The decision of the CPI (M)-led LDF government in Kerala to reopen closed liquor outlets, including beer and wine parlours, along the state and national highways, came in for severe criticism on Saturday from the Catholic Church, which has dubbed the move as "anti people". Mr Ramakrishnan clarified that only those liquor shops which were closed in the wake of earlier Supreme Court order, are now being reopened.

The Catholic Church has expressed its protest and anguish over the decision by saying that LDF government's liquor policy will hit the state like the Ockhi disaster and it will reflect in the forthcoming Chengannurbypoll.

Former Syro Malabar Church spokesperson Father Paul Thelekat said the liquor policy was "anti people".

In Kozhikode, Thamarassery Bishop Remigiose Inchananiyil, who heads the Madya Virudha Samithi under the KCBC, said the new policy uncovered the LDF's double standards. "We will be in the forefront at the Chengannur by-election asking the electorate to vote against the manipulative tactics of the Left government", said an angry Inchananiyil.

The Kerala government has made it clear that it has no plan to give sanction to open new bar hotels and toddy parlours in the state.

He also said that the government is taking steps to reduce the craving for alcohol among people, and added that the LDF's policy is not "liquor ban" but "liquor abstention".

"The government should have sincerity at least towards their election manifesto".



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