Bhopal: Though no new liquor shops will be opened or breweries encouraged, the Madhya Pradesh government has no plans to ban alcohol, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said on Saturday.
The reaction of Singh, who is completing 10 years as chief minister on Sunday, came in response to a question posed to him in the light of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announcing a ban on liquor in his state.
"It's quite difficult, as in our state liquor is linked to various traditions, customs and society," said Singh, adding however that his "government won't allow opening of any new liquor shop".
On the debate on intolerance, Singh said: "The ongoing national debate on intolerance is meaningless. The sense of tolerance completely prevails in the country. Everybody enjoys the right to speak his or her mind. A few incidents in some parts of the country should not be linked with intolerance."