PMK launches campaign against drinking

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Chennai, Aug 26: The Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), which has launched a campaign against the evils of drinking, on Tuesday, Aug 26 presented an alternative prohibition policy, aimed at imposing total prohibition in Tamil Nadu.

Talking to newspersons here after releasing the policy, PMK founder-leader S Ramadoss said the party, after detailed studies, had come out with suggestions to impose total prohibition in a phased manner and urged the DMK Government to implement the policy.

Stating that total prohibition was in vogue in the state for 23 long years since 1948, Dr Ramadoss said it was first lifted by the then Chief Minister M Karunanidhi in 1971.

If total prohibition was not imposed in the state, at least in a phased manner, no teenager in the would be left without the habit of drinking in there after five years.

Rejecting a suggestion that prohibition would open the flood gates for illicit liquor, he said the Government could arrest illicit liquor, while imposing prohibition by fixing accountability to the local body representatives and police.

The Government need not worry about the loss of revenue, estimated to be about Rs 10,000 crore due to imposition of prohibition as the ''money earned from the sale of liquor is like butter in the hands of a leprosy patient'', he said quoting late Chief Minister C N Annadurai.

If the government was keen on the revenue aspect, it could make good the loss of revenue by arresting illicit sand and granite quarrying and concentrating on the collection of Sales Tax.

Dr Ramadoss said total prohibition would be the party's main election plank in the coming Lok Sabha and assembly elections due in 2011.

If the PMK captures power in the state in 2011, it would work towards implementing total prohibition and eradicate illicit liquor within two to three months. ''We will even tell the people to throw us out of power, if we fail to deliver'', Dr Ramadoss said.

Stating that the party has been fighting for prohibition for 15 years, he said it would step up the campaign this year by organising agitations, involving the women's wing of the party.

The women's wing would soon revive their agitation in front of the TASMAC shops, selling Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL), demanding their closure, he added.

UNI

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