Patna, Jan 19 (IANS): Janata Dal-United (JD-U) lawmakers and workers are backing Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's liquor ban decision, but a former party MLA on Tuesday announced "Piyakkar Sammelan" (Drunkards convention) in the state's Siwan soon.
Liquor is currently banned in Bihar and Nitish Kumar is facing the huge criticism on this issue due to its implementation on the ground, and major loss of life due to people drinking spurious liquor
The organiser, former JD-U lawmaker Shyam Bahadur Singh, is said to be very close to Nitish Kumar, and had won several assembly elections from Siwan but he lost in 2020.
"We have decided to organise a drunkards' convention in the Gandhi Maidan of Siwan where we will invite every person of the state. We will serve drinks (liquor) according to their choice. We will arrange every brand of liquor from beer to country made and Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) which is popularly known as 'Laal Pani' or 'English' in Bihar," Singh said.
Not giving the exact date, he said that the event will be held after the winter.
"The idea is to find the number of people who are in favour of liquor to be allowed in the state and those who are in favour of the liquor ban," Singh said.
He pleaded that there should be relaxation in the liquor ban.
"Liquor is available everywhere in the state. Liquor is not banned here. Nitish Kumar should allow beer and English (IMFL) to be available easily. For poor people, the state government should also allow country-made liquor. Poor people cannot afford English (IMFL) liquor," he said.
When reporters noted that the Chief Minister was firm on his decision to continue the liquor ban, Singh said that Nitish Kumar is not above the judiciary. "All judges use to drink liquor. If Nitish Kumar does not listen to our suggestion, we will settle the matter in the next election," Singh said.
A popular face of JD-U in Siwan district, Singh appears in several videos showing him dancing to stage to orchestras. Elected for the first time from Siwan's Barharia assembly constituency in 2005, he was re-elected in 2010, defeating RJD candidate Mohamad Mobin, and in 2015, by defeating LJP candidate Baccha Pandey. Singh,however, lost the 2020 Assembly election to Pandey, now the RJD candidate, by a narrow margin of 3,559 votes.