“If Bihar can, why can’t West Bengal ban alcohol?” was the question asked by Forward Bloc party MLA Ali Imran Ramz in the State Assembly and echoing till now. AIFB legislator Ali Imran Ramz said making Bengal a dry state will bring down crime though he conceded that the state revenue will take a beating in the process. He also said that the ban will save youth from destroying their lives.
“Liquor ban in Bihar has led to development in industry, education and infrastructure sectors. The Chief Minister (Mamata Banerjee) should declare the state liquor-free,” Ramz later told the media.
The suggestion made by Ramzan garnered support from Congress MLAs, including Leader of Opposition Abdul Mannan.
“The Bihar Chief Minister (Nitish Kumar) has shown the path. He made Bihar liquor-free despite loss to the state exchequer as he wanted to give a healthy ambience to his people,” said Mannan.
While addressing the media, former state Congress President Manas Bhunia came up supporting it too. He said – “I don’t know whether West Bengal Finance Minister (Amit Mitra) has the power to do so but if Bengal can emulate Bihar in this respect, the state can be uplifted from the degradation it has suffered.”
Though Congress and Left Front leaders supported his proposal, state Finance Minister Amit Mitra was spotted dodging the question.“Can’t say anything now. It’s a lengthy procedure.” Mitra said.
SOME STATES WHICH HAVE ALREADY BANNED LIQUOR
- Gujarat- Since 1960
- Nagaland – Since 1989
- Manipur – Since 1 April 1991
- Kerala- Since 24 August 2014
- Bihar- Since 26 November 2016