Lok Satta, Mahila Satta and Yuva Satta activists undertook a protest demonstration against liquor auctions and burnt a liquor evil effigy in front of the office of the Commissioner of Excise at Nampalli.
Talking to the media, party leaders V. Laxman Balaji and Mrs. Gajanani said that by conducting liquor auctions, the Government promoted proliferation of unauthorized outlets (belt shops) and encouraged liquor consumption. The Government realized more revenue on liquor sales than the amount it spent on welfare schemes. People will be spending nearly Rs.20,000 crore on liquor purchases and Rs.16900 crore on the associated healthcare costs in the new Excise Year, going by a NIMHANS study.
The Lok Satta leaders appealed to the Government to view liquor as a menace to society and not as a source of revenue and halt liquor shop auctions forthwith. It should strip the Excise Department of handling liquor and entrust it to the Department of Health as suggested by the Union Health Ministry. The Government should empower panchayats and women’s organizations to close down all illegal outlets.
Among those who took part in the protest demonstration were Mr. P. Bhaskara Rao, T. Srinivas, Mrs. N. Saojadevi, Mrs. S. Gajanani, Mr. P. Sivaji and Ms. Mangala.