Launching the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s campaign for the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections, party head and Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Saturday promised that she would introduce phased prohibition on liquor in the state if re-elected to power, reported The Hindu. She said her government plans to shut down retail shops and bars in the state, besides reducing hours of sale and setting up rehabilitation centres.

The announcement comes close to opposition party Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam's poll demand for a ban on alcohol in the state. Hitting out at DMK chief M Karunanidhi, Jayalalithaa said he has no right to speak about prohibition as it was under his rule that restriction were relaxed in 1971. She also said liquor sales went up by 109% between 2010 and 2011 when the Opposition was in power. She alleged that the DMK regime made people drink more in the state.

Enlisting her party’s achievements, the chief minister said power cuts have gone down drastically since she has been voted to power. She also mentioned schemes implemented by her government, especially those for pregnant women and newborns. “Happiness of my people is my motive. I have been working for their betterment and welfare throughout my life,” she said at a public meeting near Chennai’s Marina beach.

Jayalalithaa also defended her government’s role in the Chennai floods management, saying that victims have received Rs 658 core as relief. The state elections will take place on May 16.