Senior BJP leader Uma Bharti has written a letter to party president J P Nadda, demanding a uniform excise policy for all BJP-ruled states, and also announced a silent protest outside liquor shops in Madhya Pradesh till October this year as well as a march in Bhopal on October 2, on the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary. In the letter dated July 9, the former Madhya Pradesh chief minister also criticised the existing excise policy in the BJP-governed MP, claiming “it can lead the state towards destruction in every way”.
Bharti, who shared the letter on Twitter on Saturday evening, has been seeking prohibition in MP since sometime. She had earlier hurled a stone at a liquor shop in the state capital Bhopal and thrown cow dung at a liquor outlet in Niwari district.
The BJP leader, in a statement, said she has held meetings with decision-makers within the party, and is confident that such interactions will soon yield results.
“From now on till October, I will stand alone in front of liquor shops and ahataas (liquor drinking facilities adjoining shops). I will march with women on the streets of Bhopal on Gandhi Jayanti (October 2),” she said. The former Union minister said liquor prohibition is a social issue, and not a political one. “It is not personal issue for me either. Therefore, whoever supports it can do this in personal capacity,” she said.
Bharti also said prohibition was not an ego issue for her, but a social issue associated with women and their families, and it was also about the future of youth.
In the letter to Nadda, Bharti demanded that a uniform excise policy for all the BJP-ruled states be prepared in consultation with senior leaders. The policy should address issues like serving liquor in open ahataas, wine shops near educational institutions and religious places, besides those near labourer settlements and places where women gather, she said in the letter. The Madhya Pradesh government allows liquor consumption in open ahataas. Drunken driving is illegal, but people drive their vehicles after consuming liquor in ahataas, she stated. On June 14, Bharti had thrown cow dung at a liquor shop in Orchha town in Niwari district. In March, she had hurled a stone at a liquor vend in Bhopal’s Azad Nagar.