Ahead of the Madhya Pradesh government's likely announcement of a new liquor policy, Bharatiya Janata Party veteran Uma Bharti on Saturday reached a temple in Bhopal where she would stay put till January 31 demanding the policy be made more stringent.
Bharti has been demanding appropriate amendments in liquor policy, which the state government releases every year, and incorporating more controls to promote de-addiction.
On Saturday afternoon, Bharti reached a temple located near a liquor shop in Ayodhya Nagar trisection and announced she will stay there till January 31 awaiting the liquor policy announcement. Bharti had earlier opposed the wine shop located near the temple.
The state government has not announced a date but a new liquor policy is generally announced in January end.
The former Union minister told reporters she had expressed a desire to tour various spots in Madhya Pradesh last November but the visit could not materialise for the lack of arrangements for her staff including security personnel.
“I have never demanded absolute prohibition. I said I would implement a total prohibition if it is in my control. I have full faith in Shivraj ji (MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan). I will wait for the decision about the liquor policy on January 31,” she said.
The former chief minister said she didn't want the opposition Congress to benefit from her stand.
“If a controlled liquor policy, as I had told (to the BJP government), is implemented, the BJP will repeat its record victory like 2003,” she said.
The BJP had won 165 seats in the 230-member Assembly in the 2003 polls decimating Congress, which was in power at that time, to 58 seats. After that election, Bharti became the chief minister. She resigned after eight months.
The Assembly elections in MP are due in December this year.