Lok Sabha polls 2019: election issue alcohol abuse, has given rise to 'Nitish voters'

(This Story Was Originally Published In On 6 May 2019)

(This Article Was Originally Published By The Economic Times On 07/05/2019.)

PATNA: In Three Years After The Premier Of Bihar, Nitish Kumar Sandwiched Drinking Ban In The State In Which It Has Seen The Emergence Of A New Specific Class Of Voters Called" Nite Voters."

A Large Proportion Of These Voters Are Women Who Think That Kumar Saved Their Family Members Through The 2016 Bihar Prohibition And Excise Act.

“Revenue From Liquor Is The Prime Source Of Revenue For Any State Government; Nitish Kumar Has Sacrificed Such Revenue For The Interest Of Society," Ram Kripal Yadav, A Resident Of Arrah In Bihar, Told ET, Yadav Added That" In The Villages, Several Youths Have Reformed Now For There Is No Free Flow Or Liquor. Even Several Aged People, Who Were Known Alcoholics, Are Leaving The Habit For Liquor Is Not Avai Lable Anymore. One Cannot Afford To Continue Such A Habit By Purchasing Liquor From The Gray Market. ”

Last Year, The Government Watered Down Some Strict Measures Of The Act. The First Offense, Which Was Not Available, Was Replaced By A Fine. The First Time That Offenders Don't Have To Be Sent To Prison. However, A Fine Of Rs 50,000 For The First Time Perpetrators Will Be Imposed.

This Is The First Following The Ban And Ban Is An Election Problem.

" This Has Created A Social Awakening In Bihar. This Is A Bold Step And Fulfills The Dream Of Nation's Father Mahatma Gandhi," JDU Spokesperson Neeraj Kumar, ET Told Human Index, Quality Of Life Has Been Improved And Per Capita Income Has Been Improved. Those Who Denounce The Prohibition Are Doing It Only For Political Reasons. Is A Social Agenda," He Added. Kumar Said Nitish Is Nationally Known For His Politics.

" Have Those Who Criticize The Prohibition In Their Manifesto Declare That They Will Lift The Prohibition As Soon As They Come To Power. Because Of The Prohibition, Various Families Are Saved And There Is Peace In The Families," He Said.

Opposition Parties Including RJD Enable Campaign That Prohibition Has Led To Increase Smuggling And Police Corrupt.

Manoj Jha, Spokesperson For RJD, Argued That There Is Free Drink In Bihar." Drink Is Readily Available. In The Name Of The Ban On Drinking, People Are Targeting Planned Tribes, Planned Closets, And Other Retarded Classes."

Since The Ban Came Into Effect, 38 Lakh Liter Of Indian Liquor Has Been Made, In Addition To 23 Lakh Liter Of Country Liqueur Has Been Seized And 2 Lakh Arrested.