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"Total prohibition too outdated" for party manifestos

Written by: Staff

Chennai, Apr 16 (UNI) ''Total prohibition'', once a pet promise of Political parties in Tamil Nadu, has become ''too outdated'' to find a place in election manifestos for the May eight assembly elections.

Except Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) and the Janata Party, led by Dr Subramaniam Swamy, no other party had talked about liquor, leave alone demanding total prohibition in their manifestos.

Ever since the late C Rajagopalachari introduced it in two districts in the erstwhile Madras Province way back in 1938, prohibition policy had been causing more hiccups in the State politics, only to get faded away now.

Neither the ruling AIADMK, which had taken up the retail vending of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) after coming to power in 2001 and the opposition DMK, which had opened the flood gates for liquor in 1971, talked about prohibition in their election manifestos.

Considered a massive revenue earner for the Government, no party dared to kill the ''ghoose laying golden eggs'', if a casual reading of their manifestos was any indication.

The PMK, which had launched a series of agitations, when the Jayalalithaa regime entrusted the sale of IMFL with the State-owned Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation (TASMAC), was the only party to promise closure of ''TASMAC shops'' and abolish illicit liquor, if it was voted to power.

The party had dwelt in detail how the ''liquor culture'' ruined the families of drunkards and doomed the careers of scores of unemployed youth, turning them into adicts, but never promised total prohibition in its manifesto.

Ruling out the possibility of imposing total prohibition, the Janata Party, promised to lift the ban on the sale of toddy.

When the sale of IMFL could be allowed, there was no reason why the sale of toddy should be banned, the party manifesto said.

As long as there was no total prohibition, the party, if voted to power, would facilitate for the sale of toddy in the State, it promised.

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