Bihar assembly passes new prohibition bill

Patna, Aug 1 (IANS) The Bihar assembly on Monday passed a new Prohibition and Excise Bill, 2016, which has stringent provisions for ensuring a total ban on consumption of liquor in the state.

The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party dubbed it a “black law” and a “draconian” measure. The party legislators introduced a series of amendments but all were defeated by a voice vote in the assembly during discussion.

In the face of the BJP opposition, the ruling Grand Alliance of the Janata Dal-United, Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress supported the bill.

Earlier, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar appealed to the BJP and its allies to support the draft legislation in the assembly as they had backed total prohibition in the budget session in early April. But the BJP and its allies opposed the bill in the assembly on Monday.

Nitish Kumar, during his reply to the discussion on the new bill in the assembly, said the new legislation was not draconian but framed after much deliberations to effectively implement the liquor ban in Bihar.

The Chief Minister said the new legislation was required to plug gaping holes in the previous act that facilitated the liquor ban in the state with effect from from April 1.



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