The new MNF government in Mizoram, led by Zoramthanga, has kept its main poll promise. In the first cabinet meeting held today in state capital Aizawl, the new government has decided to ban the sale of liquor by government sale unit with immediate effect and for private vendors a carpet ban has been imposed on the sale of liquor from December 21 to January 14. Thus Mizoram, a Christian majority state, will have a dry Christmas this time.
After the MNF won the assembly polls with a landslide victory, Zoramthanga was sworn in as the chief minister of Mizoram for the third time on Saturday.
Total prohibition was first imposed in Mizoram in 1997 when the Congress was in power; in 2015 the total liquor ban was lifted by a regulated liqours access through the Mizoram Liquor Prohibition and Control Act, 2014.
The church has been in favour of the liquor ban and the MNF made it a major poll promise. Since the church in Mizoram is very powerful, the promise by the MNF was seen in line with the desire of the church.
"We have decided to immediately stop sale of alcohol by government agencies. As for the private players, it is not possible immediately and we need legislation that will take some time. So as an interim measure we have decided that December 21 to January 14 will be dry days." said the chief minister.
The BJP, which could win only one seat in Mizoram, was non-committal on the liqour ban issue.
According to reports, alcohol sales brought in around Rs 200 crore as revenues for the state government between 2015 and 2018. On a yearly basis, the loss would be about Rs 70 crore.