On a day when everyone is expecting Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s Cabinet to clear a host of big-ticket decisions including a loan waiver worth over Rs 60,000 crore to small and marginalised farmers in the state, the new CM may spring a surprise like his senior at the Centre — Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The latter is famous for surprising everyone with his decisions. Yogi, who is now getting compared to PM Modi, may also follow in the footsteps of the Prime Minister and surprise everyone with a decision that may leave many in both awe and shock. So, what can be one such decision?
A bit of soul searching and an increasing number of protests across the state against liquor consumption, suggest that Yogi can announce his government’s decision to impose prohibition in the state on the lines of Bihar and PM Modi’s Gujarat. Uttar Pradesh Cabinet minister Rita Bahuguna Joshi has also left enough hints about Yogi’s intentions in this regard. Considering the increasing number of protests by women against liquor vendors across the state, ETV Uttar Pradesh today quoted Joshi as saying that Yogi government can take a decision on liquor consumption as women are against it.
The liquor consumption issue has become a talking point all across the state, not because of the imposition of a Supreme Court order that mandates the removal of all liquor vends within the 500-metre radius of a national or a state highway, but also because of the increasing number of protests by women against liquor consumption and wine shops. This trend is similar to Bihar when women’s protest against liquor consumption and sale led to total prohibition in the state, with complete support from the state’s CM Nitish Kumar.
Being a ‘Yogi’, the Uttar Pradesh CM is also against liquor consumption and one shouldn’t be surprised if he makes a move for implementing prohibition today, or in the coming months.
Soon after Yogi took oath of office on March 21, women groups started protesting against liquor sale and consumption. The protests have now reached almost all part of the states. Even today, at least 15 protests were organised by women across Uttar Pradesh. In most of the protests, women were accompanied by their children.
The places where women led protests against liquor included Gursahaiganj area in Kannauj, Guhatti in Muradabad, Lucknow, Banthara in district Lucknow, Kasganj, Bajaria in Kanpur, Noornagar in Meerut, Baghpat, Balia, Akbarpur of Ambedkarnagar, Hardoi and Saharanpur.
In Muradabad women found an innovative way to protest against a liquor shop which is located near a temple. Women devotees placed an idol of a god in front of the shop and started preparing for a ‘jagaran.’