Gujarat govt to make prohibition act stricter, says minister

"We will consult legal experts to identify loopholes in the present Act and then introduce a bill," the minister said.

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Ahmedabad, Nov 6 Gujarat Government today said it will introduce a bill in the budget session of the Assembly in February to make the liquor prohibition act more stringent.

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The announcement was made by Revenue Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama after meeting representatives of OBC leader Alpesh Thakor who had threatened to lay siege (gherao) to Assembly tomorrow seeking a stricter prohibition law on the lines of Bihar.

The meeting was held few hours after Thakor addressed a rally at Satyagrah Chhavni in Gandhinagar on the issue today. After the meeting, Chudasama told reporters that Thakor's demand was legitimate.

"It is true that poor citizens are falling prey to addiction. OBC leaders demanded that government should amend the present act and make it more strict. I assured that we are committed to bring such a law in the budget session," he said.

Sale, distribution and consumption of all kinds of liquor is prohibited under the Gujarat Prohibition Act. "We will consult legal experts to identify loopholes in the present Act and then introduce a bill," the minister said.

Later, Thakor called off tomorrow's agitation. "This is the victory of all the citizens of Gujarat. However, our fight is not over. I will not rest till government fulfills its promise," said Thakor, who heads OBC-SC-ST (OSS) Ekta Manch and also Kshatriya Thakor Sena.

Earlier today, Thakor, who has emerged as a prominent OBC face in Gujarat, addressed a massive gathering in Gandhinagar to mount pressure on government on various issues, including liquor prohibition, employment for local youth and decisive measures for the OBC community's uplift.

He asked his supporters not to leave the place and get ready to gherao the Assembly if the government did not come up with a definitive assurance.

PTI

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