Patna, Jul 31: A day after the Bihar government announced 'toddy' will be kept out of purview of the proposed stringent law against liqour consumption in the state, senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi today welcomed the move but took potshots at Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on the issue.
In a sarcastic comment, Sushil Modi said Kumar made the U-turn apparently out of fear of the RJD withdrawing support from his government on the issue.
"Nitish is so drunk in power that he thinks nobody can bend him, but the BJP, LJP supremo Ramvilas Paswan, Hindustani Awam Party Morcha president Jitan Ram Manjhi and RJD chief Lalu Prasad have applied enough pressure on the Chief Minister to force him to make U-turn on toddy ban," he said in a statement.
Modi claimed the Chief Minister has made a retreat apparently under the fear the RJD may withdraw support to him if he persisted with his stand on 'toddy', a livelihood issue with a section of Dalit community.
The senior BJP leader wants the RJD leadership to apply pressure on the state government to remove a proposal in the excise bill that stipulates arrest of all adult members in a family in the event of liqour bottles being recovered from a household or its compound. He termed the measure "draconian to say the least".
Trying to make an illustration, the former deputy chief minister asked if someone throws an empty liqour bottle in the bungalow of the RJD supremo, then will he, with other family members including for
mer chief minister Rabri Devi and two minister sons, be arrested and put behind bars?
"Is it fair to punish wife and aged parents, if an adult member commits crime like keeping a liqour bottle in the household? does not the stringent law lead Bihar to ancient times?" Modi asked.
There is provision for imprisonment for few years for commission of crimes like rape and dacoity, but possession of liqour bottle can land in life imprisonment, besides confiscation of house, the senior BJP leader wondered.