Athawale slams Nitish Kumar for his statement on liquor deaths

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is facing heat over his statement that those who drink will die, and Union Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Ramdas Athawale on Friday was the latest to criticise him.

“The statement of Nitish Kumar that ‘Jo Piyega, Wo Marega’ is not right. I would say a Chief Minister like him will lose the next election,” Athawale said in Delhi.

“Nitish Kumar imposed a liquor ban in Bihar and it is his responsibility to implement the law successfully. He has failed on it,” he added.

BJP Rajya Sabha member and former Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi alleged that the Nitish Kumar government is hiding the number of deaths in Saran liquor tragedy.

“Over 100 persons have lost their lives and the Nitish Kumar government is hiding the facts. Many relatives have buried the dead bodies in other districts in fear of police,” he said.

“Nitish Kumar repeatedly says ‘Jo Piyega Wo Marega’. ‘Jo Piyega Wo Jail Jayega (those who drink will go jail)’ is understandable but if he is saying ‘Jo Piyega Wo Marega’ is not right. This is an anti-Dalit government. Over 4 lakh people are lodged in jail and today they released a statement saying that police avoid penalising poor and Dalit people. I want to point out that the Pasi community has a traditional business to sell toddy. They become hand to mouth now after their business was destroyed with this law. Who is responsible for it?” he asked.

“Due to the liquor ban, Bihar government is losing revenue of over Rs 30,000 crore per year… we have supported him. Nitish Kumar should review the liquor ban law and come up with the plan to implement it successfully on the ground,” he added.

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