Nitish blames BJP for hooch tragedy in Bihar

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday blamed the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the loss of lives in the state due to consumption of liquor.

Losing his cool while speaking in the Assembly, the Janata Dal-United leader said: “You (BJP MLAs) are responsible for the hooch tragedies in Bihar. We all know that you are doing the dirty work. I parted ways with you… and it was my good decision. You are talking in favour of liquor in Bihar. It would not be tolerated.”

A ruckus was witnessed in the Assembly on Wednesday over the loss of lives in Saran due to consumption of spurious liquor.

The death toll has risen to 17 on Wednesday. Five of them died on Tuesday night and 12 others passed away at a hospital on Wednesday.

The condition of five others are said to be critical. The incident was reported from Mashrakh and Isuapur village.

Sources said Nitish Kumar got upset after the BJP legislators came into the Well of the House and tried to disrupt the proceedings.

Assembly Speaker Avadh Bihari Chaudhary had repeatedly asked the BJP legislators to go back to the seats but they did not listen to him.

After Nitish Kumar lost his cool, Finance Minister Vijay Kumar Chaudhary, said “even as there is a law for murder, it is taking place everywhere”.

“We have liquor prohibition law in Bihar, still people are drinking it and dying. Deaths due to consumption of liquor proved that it is not a right thing for health,” Chaudhary said.

“When the liquor prohibition law was implemented in Bihar Vidhan Sabha in 2016, every party supported it. They are making allegations against the state government,” Chaudhary said.

“… the Opposition leaders are claiming that liquor is available everywhere but when we ask them to provide details of sellers, they turn silent,” Chaudhary said.

“Those who consume liquor do not care about their health and society. If anyone is dying due to consumption of liquor, is actually proving the relevance of liquor prohibition law. If it is available despite prohibition and people are drinking, it is an offence. The state government believes that it is a wrong practice and they are liable to face legal action,” Chaudhary said.

Later, responding to Nitish Kumar and Chaudhary, Vijay Kumar Sinha, the Leader of Opposition in Vidhan Sabha, said: “The way Nitish Kumar is losing his cool and using un-parliamentary language on the floor of the house is unacceptable. Nitish Kumar should apologise for his behaviour or we would not allow the house to run smoothly. BJP has decided to boycott the house.”

Samrat Chaudhary, the Leader of Opposition of Bihar Vidhan Parishad said: “I want to appeal to the family members of the deceased to register FIR against CM Nitish Kumar. He is responsible for the liquor tragedy in Bihar. The liquor prohibition law has completely failed in Bihar.”

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