The PMK in Tamil Nadu will picket liquor shops across the state on July 11 demanding total prohibition on sale of liquor across the state.
PMK Chief Dr Ramadoss says "the Dravidian regimes have opened up liquor shops on all streets to generate funds for their freebies; even 13-year-old boys have become addicted to liquor". There is an urgent need he argues "to rescue the younger generation from the dangerous influence of liquor".
PMK workers, Dr Ramadoss said, would protest in front of all the 6172 liquor outlets in the state. He would lead the token "lock the liquor shop protest" in Chennai, while his son, former Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss, will lead the protest in the neighbouring Kancheepuram district.
Since 1989 the PMK has been campaigning for total prohibition in the state, Dr Ramadoss added. He claims, in the year 2008 the then Chief Minister M Karunanidhi had assured "to implement prohibition in phases", but it never happened. The party's pleas to the present Chief Minister Jayalalithaa too he says has not fetch any results.
Dr Ramadoss has called NGOs, women self-help groups, community leaders and all those who believe in prohibition to join the protest on Wednesday.
In Tamil Nadu, the state government runs liquor shops, through which it earns a whopping revenue of Rs 18000 crore. When NDTV contacted representatives of the DMK and AIADMK, they were unanimous in the opinion that "total prohibition is not practical in the state" and that such a policy would only "open the floodgates to illicit liquor, leading to heavy casualties". They add, "Prohibition cannot be effective unless it is implemented in all states".