In a volte face, the Bihar government on Thursday announced that the state government will only ban country-made liquor from April 01, 2016.
The government has also said that Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL) will be made expensive to discourage people from buying it.
However, Bihar Excise and Prohibition Minister Abdul Jalil Mastan told on Friday that the state government will ban all kinds of alcohol.
“The government feels that alcohol is death, will a government sell death?” he said, adding: “The government is there to do good work, not to sell alcohol.”
On November 26, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had announced that his state will go dry from April 01, 2016.
The Chief Minister had made the announcement — a part of his election pledge — at an official function to mark Prohibition Day.
He had said the poorest of the poor had been consuming liquor, badly hitting their families and their children’s education.
In July, Nitish Kumar had declared that prohibition would be imposed if he retained power in the Assembly Elections.
Ban on liquor has been a demand of many in several parts of the country. During the first week of November in Rajasthan, former legislator Gurcharan Chhabra (65) died after fasting for a month asking for a ban on the sale of liquor in the state.
Gujarat, Nagaland, Manipur (in some parts), and Union Territory of Lakshadweep have banned liquor while Kerala has since August 2014 been implementing the ban in a phased manner.