‘Manifesto bigger or people?’: Cong minister faces local anger over unfulfilled liquor ban promise, jobs

The five-time Konta MLA has been told to return from many areas during his campaign, his party colleagues say.

WrittenBy:Basant Kumar
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Chhattisgarh excise minister and five-time Konta MLA Kawasi Lakhma is facing a challenge on his home turf in Sukma district this time. The reason? Growing unemployment and the Congress’s unfulfilled poll promise to ban liquor in the state. A Congress worker says Lakhma, popularly known as “Daadi” in the region, was even asked to return from several areas during the campaign amid local anger. 

On the liquor ban promise in the Congress’s 2018 manifesto, Lakhma says that he has ruled out the possibility of its implementation ever since he became the excise minister. Asked why, he says it can have adverse consequences, such as the “jailing of tribals” in other states where prohibition is in effect. “Only a nationwide ban by Prime Minister Narendra Modi can make it happen.” He says he has never received any formal request for a liquor ban though many want liquor licences. “Is the manifesto bigger or the people?” 

Asked about 10 years of the Jhiram Ghati Maoist attack case, he says the erstwhile BJP government should be asked why the courts stayed the probe.

Lakhma says those protesting against him must be “drunk”. Konta votes in the first phase on November 7.

Watch.

This report has been published as part of the joint NL-TNM Election Fund and is supported by hundreds of readers. Click here to power our ground reports.

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