RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav on Thursday challenged Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to conduct a breathalyzer test on his "leaders" and "bureaucrats" over the issue of the alcohol ban. The RJD leader took to Twitter and asked the Chief Minister to accept failure.
Tejashwi's statements come after Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) leader Jitan Ram Manjhi reportedly demanded a lift on the alcohol ban in the state, after a top police official essentially said liquor was still flowing freely and the cops knew about it.
I challenge CM Nitish ji to do random breathalyzer test of his near and dear drunkard leaders and buearucrats on any given day. Test results will be the result of alcohol ban. Come on Nitish Ji! Accept ur failure or apologize for fooling people. Your DGP has already accepted it. https://t.co/G7VOMiGVIp— Tejashwi Yadav (@yadavtejashwi) February 20, 2020
In a controversial statement, Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) president Jitan Ram Manjhi said that liquor should be consumed as medicine and hence, should not be banned. Coming in support, JDU MLA Shyam Bahadur Singh on Wednesday said, "What he has said is not wrong. I will not disagree with him. Liquor should be consumed according to a system and culture."
The fiasco over the liquor ban was triggered after the Director General of Police in Bihar gave out stern statements on its sale in the state. The top police official had said that every constable and commissioner knows who sells or drinks alcohol in the area. However, he had said that if the police personnel does not know, then he is not "worthy" of holding the position in charge. The top Bihar police official had further said that without the knowledge of the station officer, even a leaf cannot flutter, let alone selling of alcohol.
The liquor ban in Bihar was issued in the state on April 01, 2015, and the penalty for violating the law entails imprisonment for at least 5 to 10 years. But the recent amendment by the state government rules that the first-time offenders will not be sent to a mandatory prison term and a fine of Rs 50,000 will be charged instead. The Supreme Court upheld the state government’s decision on banning liquor in October 2016. The Supreme Court ruled that a ban on liquor is not equivalent to the fundamental rights of the people.