Patna, Apr 26: BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi today alleged that "over half" of the "ministers and legislators" of the ruling Grand Alliance in Bihar are "habitual boozers", his remarks coming in the wake of a Congress MLA caught on camera purportedly offering liquor to his guests.
Narkatiaganj MLA Vinay Verma has been caught in the booze sting at a time when a total prohibition is in force in the state. The BJP leader also asked Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to take stringent action against Verma.
"It is known to everybody that more than half of legislators and ministers in the ruling Grand Alliance are habitual boozers which puts a question mark on Nitish Kumar government's commitment to fully enforce prohibition in Bihar," he alleged. He was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of weekly 'Janata Durbar' at his official residence.
Sushil Modi alleged that prohibition has "not brought" the desired results as liqour is being "sold illegally" in all parts of Bihar despite its production, marketing and consumption was made a punishable offence under Bihar Excise Act.
On the sting, he claimed, he was not surprised that a ruling party legislator has been "stung by the media for boasting about keeping liqour at home despite the ban."
He described the police action over the alleged case last night as "drama". However, the embattled Congress MLA claimed "conspiracy" behind the sting. He claimed that he is a vegetarian and a teetotaler and any talk of offering liquor to guests was not true.
Kumar should use his influence with the Congress leader to seek stringent action against Verma for wilful violation of prohibition as he had taken oath in the legislative assembly against consuming liqour and offering the same to anybody, the BJP leader said.
He also sought to debunk the chief minister's assertion that the enforcement of total prohibition in Bihar from first week of this month has "brought down" crime rate and said the data in this regard was "misplaced" as crimes like murder, dacoity and loot have nothing to do with liquor.
Saying that the BJP was firmly in favour of total prohibition, he demanded strict action against illegal sale of liqour in Bihar.