PMK launches crusade against liquor

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Chennai, Jun 28: Stepping up its campaign against liquor, the women's wing of the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) will stage protest demonstrations in front of more than 8,000 TASMAC shops selling Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) in the state, on July 12, demanding their closure.

Announcing this at a press conference here today, PMK founder-leader S Ramadoss said the party, which had launched a movement against liquor 15 years ago, would step up its campaign this year by organising a series of agitations.

Involving women folk, the most affected section, the party would organise 'anti-liquor women's conferences' in all the 31 district headquarters in the state. The conference against liquor would begin on July 8 in Ramanathapuram district, followed by Kanniyakumari the next day, he said.

Dr Ramadoss, accusing DMK President M Karunanidhi of having spoiled four generations by introducing liquor in the state, said the PMK had decided to vigorously pursue the campaign to save atleast the fifth generation.

Scholars, educationists, Gandhians, retired officials and voluntary organisations have offered support to the party in its bid to restore total prohibition in the state, he said.

Tamil Nadu had witnessed green and white revolutions and the party had now launched a fight for 'yellow revolution' to free the state from the evil of drinking, he said.

Stating that youths were being lured to drinking everyday, he said sale of liquor, which stood at Rs 2,500 crore in 2002-03, had gone up to Rs 8,000 crore in 2007-08 and the government had projected a turnover of Rs 10,000 crore for this year.

Dr Ramadoss said while food production in the state had declined, liquor sales have witnessed a whopping 600 per cent increase in the last five years, which did not augur well for development. He said he was not blindly opposing the estabishment of satellite townships and Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and wondered why the DMK government had cancelled the allotment of 125 acres of land to 70 IT companies by the previous AIADMK regime.

The DMK government had cancelled the deal on the ground that lands worth Rs three crore were given to the IT companies for a paltry Rs 48 lakh. Had the DMK Government not scrapped the deal, Tamil Nadu would have got 70 new companies and employment to many.

When the AIADMK government alloted 103 acres of land to the Singapore Realty company, DMK leader Arcot N Veerasamy had moved the High Court, seeking to quash the order. But the same DMK, after coming to power, had allotted 35 acres of land in Taramani, Chennai, to a Tata company and real estate major DHL under the pretext of SEZ, he said and sought details of the deal.

Dr Ramadoss accused the ruling DMK of indulging in cheap politics by drawing away PMK office bearers after paying them hefty sums.

The PMK leader wanted to know as to why the government was reluctant to take action against self-financing engineering colleges, which collected capitation and high fees. When there was an act to initiate action, why should Higher Education Minister K Ponmudi insist on someone lodging a complaint, he asked.


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