Bhopal, Feb 23 (SocialNews.XYZ) The ruling BJP and the opposition Congress in Madhya Pradesh on Thursday were engaged in a war of words over the new excise policy of the Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led government, with former Chief Minister Kamal Nath saying the BJP has changed the "peaceful state into Madira Pradesh".
As per the new liquor policy, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government has decided to close all 'ahatas' and 'bar shops'.
In Madhya Pradesh, ahata refers to a covered area located adjacent to 'desi' liquor shops where people generally sit and consume liquor. Ahatas have been seen in the state for the last several years.
While Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said the step has been taken to motivate people towards liquor de-addiction, the Opposition has criticised the government, accusing it of "doubling the liquor shops in the state".
Former Chief Minister and Madhya Pradesh unit Congress head Kamal Nath on Thursday said the BJP government has almost doubled the number of liquor shops in Madhya Pradesh by opening a joint shop of country liquor and foreign liquor.
"Your policy is clear... expensive rations and cheap liquor. Apologise to the people of Madhya Pradesh for your policy of door-to-door delivery of liquor," Kamal Nath said, adding: "The BJP has changed this peaceful Madhya Pradesh into 'madira pradesh."
Kamal Nath's remarks have drawn criticism from CM Chouhan, state BJP chief V.D. Sharma and many other party leaders.
The BJP leaders have accused Kamal Nath of 'insulting the people of Madhya Pradesh and its culture'.
Responding to the 'madira' remarks, Chouhan said his predecessor is not familiar with Madhya Pradesh's culture.
"Kamal Nath is insulting 8.5 crore citizens and our culture, tradition and values by calling Madhya Pradesh 'Madira Pradesh'," Chouhan said on Thursday.
In a counter-attack, the Congress posted an old statement of CM Chouhan, in which he had used the same word - 'madira pradesh'. Kamal Nath's media advisor Piyush Bable posted a screenshot of CM Chouhan's tweet of January 2020, in which he had accused the then Congress government of making Madhya Pradesh a liquor state.
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