The Lok Satta Party today demanded that the Government scrap order No. 723 unconditionally and move towards a ban on public drinking altogether.
Talking to the media, Lok Satta Party General Secretary Katari Srinivasa Rao and Mahila Satta President N. Saroja Devi ridiculed the claims of Chief Minister K. Rosaiah and Minister Botsa Satyanarayana that the GO would not lead to a proliferation of bars.
The latest GO provides for permitting bars based on the 2001 census. With the decennial census now under way, which will see a spurt in urban population, bars will sprout like mushrooms in the coming excise year.
Demanding that the Government ban public drinking, the Lok Satta leaders pointed out that drinking is bad but public drinking is worse. Public drinking is resulting in permissive behavior, disturbing public order and tranquility, leading to accidents and crimes against women and children, promoting binge drinking and pauperization for want of restraint by the family.
The Lok Satta leaders said that the Government, which viewed liquor as one of its main sources of revenue, is even planning to permit sitting rooms attached to liquor outlets for a fee.
Unfortunately, leaders of the ‘sara‘ (sampradaya rajakeeya) parties, far from fighting the drink evil, have themselves become liquor vendors to promote their personal fortunes and party prospects in elections.
The Lok Satta would like all parties to transcend their party differences and join hands as the struggle against liquor is going to be long term and arduous.