LDF bats for reducing liquor consumption, not total ban

A day after Chief Minister Oommen Chandy dared CPI(M)-led opposition to declare its stand on the liquor policy, Marxist leaders today said their front was not in favour of total prohibition and would go for reducing consumption of liquor in phases.

PTI| Updated: Apr 06, 2016, 20:15 PM IST

Thiruvananthapuram: A day after Chief Minister Oommen Chandy dared CPI(M)-led opposition to declare its stand on the liquor policy, Marxist leaders today said their front was not in favour of total prohibition and would go for reducing consumption of liquor in phases.

The Congress-led UDF government's liquor policy which came into force in 2014 restricted Indian Made Foreign Liquor bars to Five Star category hotels and shut down more than 700 other bars while envisaging total prohibition in ten years.

The policy has become one of the major campaign planks in the May 16 Assembly polls.

Chandy has maintained that the policy was a well thought out one with an aim to reduce availability of foreign liquor in the state and asked the CPI(M)-led LDF to make clear its stand on the matter.

Reacting to Chandy's remark, CPI(M) politburo member Pinarayi Vijayan today said total prohibition was not practical and if LDF comes to power, it will encourage liquor abstinence.

LDF would hold a campaign in the state with anti-liquor outfits on the ill effects of liquor, said Vijayan, a front runner for the Chief Minister's post, if LDF comes to power.

Vijayan also made it clear that CPI(M) was not a party that encourages liquor.

CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan also endorsed the view of Vijayan and said total prohibition was not practical.

However, the CPI(M) leaders did not specify whether the closed bars would be reopened if LDF comes to power.