From April 1, of the current year, Mizoram will again turn into a dry state. The Mizoram Legislative Assembly has passed the Mizoram Liquor Prohibition Bill 2019, which seeks to ban consumption, manufacture, and sale of liquor for the general public.
After the Mizo National Front government came to power last year replacing the Congress their major promise to the people was to prohibit the liquor. The MNF defeated the Congress by winning the 26 seats in the 40-member house.
The Bill was tabled in the Assembly on Wednesday by State Excise and Narcotics Minister K Beichhua and it was passed without any opposition.
While tabling the Bill, the Minister said, “Lifting the ban on liquor in Mizoram has had a severe impact on the Mizo society. It led to untimely death of people in road accidents and an increase in alcohol intake among the youth.”
Referring to the recent liquor ban in Bihar, Legislator from the Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM), Vanlalthlana claimed that the action will help to reduce crime in the state. “While crime against women was reduced to 13 percent after the liquor ban in Bihar, incidents of rape declined too,” Mr. Vanlalthlana said while supporting the Bill.
In the last year’s Mizoram Assembly election, where the MNF promised to completely ban the liquor, the Congress opposed the move. Eventually, the BJP demanded to ban the liquor partially and to allow locally produced ones. The Church bodies, which play a major role in the elections in Mizoram, favored a complete ban.
Mizoram was a dry state between 1997 and 2015 when the then Congress government lifted the ban. The move was justified by the Congress saying that it has generated revenue and reduced spurious liquor-related deaths.
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