During his day-long visit, Kumar urged his UP counterpart to ensure that liquor is not available within a distance of five kilometers from UP-Bihar border to discourage people from his state. The Chief Minister also asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to implement total prohibition in all BJP-ruled states.
Prohibition is close to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s heart and political agenda. It was a key promise he made to women voters, who played an important role in his electoral victory last November. The Chief Minister’s pleas are not without reason.
The massive sale of liquor, especially country-made, and the consequent rise in alcoholism is a major social ill in Bihar. Alcoholism in Bihar, for example, particularly affects poor families and women, who often bear the brunt of alcoholic husbands. But as history has told us time and again, enforcing a total prohibition on the sale of liquor comes at a cost of not only revenue loss, but also the spread of an alcohol black market. Enforcement is a serious concern.