Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Sunday hinted that the state would soon implement a total ban on alcohol, reported PTI. Addressing a programme in Narsinghpur district, Chouhan said, “Alcohol prohibition will be implemented in the entire state by closing all liquor shops in a phased manner.”
The chief minister said the first phase has already been rolled out, with the government closing down all liquor shops situated within a radius of five kilometres from the banks of Narmada. “In the next phase, the liquor shops will not be allowed to open in residential localities, near educational institutes or religious places,” he added. Chouhan also said that a de-addiction drive will be launched across the state.
Madhya Pradesh has witnessed several protests against liquor shops in the past month. Protesters had burnt two vehicles and mangled four other cars in Bareli town on April 5 when Excise Department officials were shifting liquor shops from the highway to a residential colony. Other parts of the state such as Indore, Burhanpur, Chhatarpur and Satnahave also faced several protests. The Bharatiya Janata Party has voiced its support for such protests. On April 3, Indore-1 MLA Sudarshan Gupta raised the demand for total prohibition in the state.
Following the news, stocks of nine liquor companies fell on Monday. While Radico Khaitan stocks nosedived 6.98%, United Spirits (-5.29%), United Breweries (-3.5%) and Empee Distilleries (-1.17%) were some of the other liquor firm to incur losses.
Bihar and Gujarat are the only states that currently have a total ban on alcohol in place. Tamil Nadu has failed in implementing such a ban after experimenting more than once while Andhra Pradesh also tried it out in the 1990s, reported The Indian Express. Mizoram was forced withdraw the ban after 17 years in 2014.