A senior Shiv Sena minister has demanded that liquor ban in Maharashtra's Chandrapur district be lifted, arguing that it was leading to rise in sale of illegal liquor and related crimes.
Sena leader and industries minister Subhash Desai pointed out that a police sub-inspector was mowed down by liquor mafia last week during a vehicle checking.
"Liquor ban is a complete failure as far as Chandrapur district is concerned. A ban leads to illegal sale of liquor, rise in crime and revenue loss. Also, the death of a police man is a serious incident," Mr Desai said.
Maharashtra government has imposed prohibition in three districts: Wardha,Gadchiroli and Chandrapur.
Asked about Wardha district, the Sena leader said, "It is a different caee. Wardha is historically associated with Mahatma Gandhi (who lived at Sevagram in the district)."
However, finance minister and BJP leader Sudhir Mungantiwar, who is also the guardian minister for Chandrapur, claimed that crime rate has come down after the ban came into effect.
"Lifting the ban is not the solution if there is illegal sale,"Mr Mungantiwar said.
"588 gram panchayats had passed a resolution seeking ban on liquor and thousands of women protested and carried out a signature campaign against liquor shops," he said.
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