The decision was taken after tobacco farmers reportedly met Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and complained to him that tobacco production was their only source of income and of late, their product was seized and they were fined. Kumar subsequently took the decision to make tobacco tax-free.
The move has earned criticism for it has come at a time when every second person in the state is addicted to tobacco. Over 63 per cent men and 30 per cent women in the state ate addicted to tobacco in the state. The state government's decision will encourage the figures to shoot up further, observers feel.
The BJP said Nitish Kumar made the move to get cheap populatity
The Opposition has hit out at the Nitish Kumar government over the decision. They said the chief minister was not only encouraging tobacco consumption but also put people's lives under risk.
The BJP, with which Nitish Kumar's JD(U) government terminated alliance in June, said the move was made to get cheap popularity ahead of the polls.