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Kerala Church Opposes Left's New Liquor Policy

Friday, September 22, 2017, 13:11 (IST)

The church in Kerala has expressed its anguish as the state's assurances to keep the liquor bars closed fell flat. The church plans to hold a protest against the new liquor policy.

Bishop Mar Remigiose Inchananiyil, Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Thamarassery, on Sept. 14 said the present "Left government has cheated" by reopening closed bars despite assurances from CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury on the contrary.

"Yechury had assured that not a single closed bar would be opened and now it (assurance) has fallen flat. What came as a shock was the relaxation made recently in the distance liquor vends need to keep from educational and religious institutions…it has been reduced from 200 metres to 50 metres," said Inchananiyil, according to India.

"It's now clear that 'money' is all supreme and everything comes after it. The liquor policy of the Congress-led UDF (United Democratic Front) was also flawed. We will organise a protest against the new policy," he added.

The previous Oommen Chandy government had shut down around 700 bars in 2015, except just 24 bars in five-star hotels. Chandy's policy predicted a complete liquor ban in Kerala by 2023.

The present government had promised ahead of the 2016 assembly election that all bars will be kept closed and the front's policy would be set around the policy of abstinence and not prohibition.

A year after the Left assumed office, the state released new liquor policy, which allowed 77 new bars to be opened on July 2 and another 250 bars in August.

Kerala Church Opposes Left's New Liquor Policy

The church in Kerala has expressed its anguish as the state's assurances to keep the liquor bars closed fell flat. The church plans to hold a protest against the new liquor policy.

Bishop Mar Remigiose Inchananiyil, Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Thamarassery, on Sept. 14 said the present "Left government has cheated" by reopening closed bars despite assurances from CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury on the contrary.

"Yechury had assured that not a single closed bar would be opened and now it (assurance) has fallen flat. What came as a shock was the relaxation made recently in the distance liquor vends need to keep from educational and religious institutions…it has been reduced from 200 metres to 50 metres," said Inchananiyil, according to India.

"It's now clear that 'money' is all supreme and everything comes after it. The liquor policy of the Congress-led UDF (United Democratic Front) was also flawed. We will organise a protest against the new policy," he added.

The previous Oommen Chandy government had shut down around 700 bars in 2015, except just 24 bars in five-star hotels. Chandy's policy predicted a complete liquor ban in Kerala by 2023.

The present government had promised ahead of the 2016 assembly election that all bars will be kept closed and the front's policy would be set around the policy of abstinence and not prohibition.

A year after the Left assumed office, the state released new liquor policy, which allowed 77 new bars to be opened on July 2 and another 250 bars in August.