National

BJP-Ruled States Have Accounted For Most Hooch Deaths: Tejashwi

The RJD leader also asserted that the BJP had “no moral right to raise the issue of violation of prohibition in Bihar” and recalled the alleged involvement of a brother of Ram Surat Rai, then a minister in the cabinet, in liquor trade, “which I had raised while I was in the opposition”.

Advertisement

Tejashwi Yadav
info_icon

Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav on Thursday launched a counterattack on the BJP, claiming that states ruled by the saffron party had the worst track records in terms of spurious liquor deaths.

The RJD leader gave a statement before the media, outside the Assembly which is in session, claiming that Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka stood at the top in terms of the number of hooch deaths while even Gujarat, a dry state, fared much worse than Bihar which is under the spotlight over the Saran hooch tragedy that has killed over 20 people.

“I am reading out from a statement given on the floor of Parliament by Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai, who incidentally hails from Bihar, on July 19... BJP leaders here may do well to wear this on their chests,” remarked Yadav, who was visibly displeased over frequent disruptions of proceedings during the ongoing winter session.

Advertisement

“The MoS had made the statement in response to a query from MP Danish Ali who sought to know the number of deaths caused by the consumption of spurious liquor. The minister had quoted NCRB data to submit that between 2016 and 2020, Madhya Pradesh accounted for the highest number of 1,214 hooch deaths followed by Karnataka where the number was 909. Both states are ruled by the BJP,” he said.

Another BJP-ruled state, Haryana, stood at number four. Even in Gujarat, a dry state from where the Prime Minister also hails, the number of hooch deaths during the period was 50 while for Bihar it was only 21, Yadav said. The deputy CM said, “BJP MLAs have been demanding Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s resignation over the Saran hooch tragedy. Would they make similar demands with respect to CMs of states ruled by their own party?”

Advertisement

The RJD leader also asserted that the BJP had “no moral right to raise the issue of violation of prohibition in Bihar” and recalled the alleged involvement of a brother of Ram Surat Rai, then a minister in the cabinet, in liquor trade, “which I had raised while I was in the opposition”.

The young leader also sought to make light of the remark of his septuagenarian boss that “jo piyega woh marega (whoever drinks is doomed to die)” which has come under criticism from many quarters. Political strategist turned activist Prashant Kishor had said at a press conference in Sheohar: “I challenge Nitish Kumar and his ministers to share their wisdom in any of the places where people have lost their lives because of hooch. They will get a taste of the public anger”.

Yadav said, “What the CM is implying is that a wrong deed has unwarranted consequences. It is also not proper to link hooch deaths with prohibition. We must not lose sight of the fact that even in states where liquor is not banned, hooch tragedies do take place”.

Asked about fresh demands for a “review” of the prohibition law in the wake of the spurt in hooch tragedies, Yadav said, “Let all those who hold such a view raise the matter inside the House. A legislative matter cannot be debated on the streets”. “The fact is, the BJP is wary of its prospects in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. It has little to offer, so it is indulging in all sorts of drama,” added Yadav. 

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement