If BJP makes drinking age 25 yrs in other states, we will make it 30 in Delhi: AAP
New Delhi, Mar 23: Aam Aadmi Party spokesperson Sourabh Bharadwaj on Tuesday said that if the BJP made the minimum age of buying liquor 25 years in party-ruled states, then the AAP would increase it to 30 years in Delhi.
He said that the legal age of drinking alcohol in BJP-ruled states like Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh was 21 years, while in BJP-ruled Goa it was 18 years. Bhardwaj said that the BJP was speaking against the decision to lower the drinking age in order to protect black markets and financial misappropriation.
He claimed that when youths under 21 years go to restaurants and pubs, police extorts money from restaurant owners which then makes its way to the "top". "By our decision, this malpractice will be stopped and that is why BJP is upset," Bhardwaj said.
He said that BJP leaders should ask the central government to bring a law which makes the age of drinking 25 years in the whole country as this will bring uniformity.
"I am surprised to see the hypocrisy of the BJP. Till now no one has seen such hypocrisy in any political party. It is very clear that the BJP is shameless. Within the BJP-ruled states, the legal of liquor consumption is 21 years from many years. It is 21 years in dozens of states, including Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh. The BJP has ruled for 15 years in Goa, where the legal age is 18 years," he said.
"I challenge Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta and LOP Shri Ramvir Bidhuri to bring this age back to 25 years in the BJP ruled states, then we will make it 30 years," Bhardwaj said. This is BJP's attempt to steal revenue and protect black marketing, he alleged.
The Delhi Cabinet on Monday approved a new excise policy lowering the minimum age for consumption of liquor to 21 years from 25 years, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia announced. The opposition on Monday hit out at the AAP government for lowering the drinking age, claiming the new excise policy will make the city the "capital of intoxicants".
The Delhi BJP president said he and his party leaders will meet Lt Governor Anil Baijal on Tuesday in protest the new excise policy. "The new policy will not only lead to (sale of) spurious liquor and promote crime but will also spoil youngsters as the legal age for drinking has been lowered from 25 to 21 years.
"The right thing would have been for the government to tighten liquor policy to make Delhi safe for women and keep youngsters away from the liquor," Gupta said in a statement.