The involvement of Maharashtra’s two ministers in the inauguration of a liquor bar in Ahmednagar has landed them in a great controversy.
According to a report, Ram Shinde, BJP’s Minister of State for Home, did the honor of cutting the ceremonial ribbon of a bar while Deepak Kesarkar, Shiv Sena Minister of Finance for Home, was present at the occasion.
Reportedly, Ahmednagar is soon to be declared an alcohol free district following the suit of Wardha, Gadchiroli and Chandrapur districts.
Many political leaders of opposition have criticized this act of the two ministers.
A news agency reported Sachin Sawant, a Congress spokesperson, as saying, “It is unfortunate that a minister of the government inaugurates a beer bar.”
Nationalist Congress Party spokesperson, Nawab Malik, stated that although it was not illegal, the ministers should have refrained from the event.
“There is already a ban on liquor advertisements…If ministers attend such events, it amounts to advertising liquor,” Malik said.
However, following these sparks of debate, Shinde and Kesarkar justified themselves by saying that they had gone to the opening of a family restaurant and not a liquor bar.
According to IANS, Shinde clarified himself by stating, “I have done nothing wrong; It’s a family restaurant and has all the necessary permissions. The bar is owned by the previous owner where this restaurant is situated”.
The BJP is hopeful of getting its “first Chief Minister” in Jammu and Kashmir following the abrogation of Article 370 from the state two months ago, and the planned delimitation of the Assembly constituencies.
In an interview to IANS, Jammu and Kashmir Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Ravinder Raina said, “Jammu and Kashmir is a unit. And as President of BJP here, I am confident that we will have a BJP Chief Minister in Jammu and Kashmir very soon.”
Jammu and Kashmir has seen several Chief Ministers from Congress, National Conference and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Meanwhile, the BJP which shared power in the state with the PDP for three years from 2015 to 2018, did not get the top post and had to accept the post of Deputy Chief Minister.
When asked about the planned delimitation of constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir, Raina said, “The Election Commission will take a final call on the delimitation of the Assembly constituencies here.”
Raina said the poll panel will constitute a commission, which will be headed by either a retired Supreme Court or High Court judge.
The BJP leader pointed out that the commission which will be constituted for the delimitation process will follow all the standard prodecures.
The government abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution from Jammu and Kashmir on August 5 and also bifurcated the state into two union territories.
Following the revocation of Article 370, the government has enforced a massive clampdown on communication and internet services in the state and deployed heavy security presence.
To a question over the clampdown for 60 days in the state, the state BJP chief said, “Soon after the abrogation of Article 370 the mobile connectivity and internet facility was suspended here.
“And now you are witnessing that the mobile connectivity and Wi-fi services are given a free hand and people are using those facilities here,” Raina said pointing towards the Wi-fi hotspots and connections provided to the citizens in Jammu.
Pointing towards the Kashmir valley, where only landlines connections and BSNL mobile networks are operating, he said, “In Kashmir valley too, the communication systems whether it is landline connections or BSNL mobile numbers are being operated and are given access.”
“But there are still apprehensions that Pakistani agents may use the internet facilities to defame and to create mess and try to instigate the youth of the country,” he said on the internet suspension in Srinagar and other districts in the Kashmir valley.
Raina further said that Pakistani elements can instigate the youth and spread venom in the society and that is why preventive measures have been taken. “But soon you shall find all internet facilities will be opened and will be given free access,” he said.
India has on several occasions accused Pakistan of sponsoring terror and allowing its land to be used for terror activities. In recent days, the Indian Army and security forces have foiled terrorists’ attempts to enter Indian territory from the Pakistan side.
On India’s semi-high speed and feature-rich Vande Bharat Express arriving in Jammu from Delhi, he said, “We are thankful to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal for providing the best train that is Vande Bharat Express to Jammu and Kashmir after the revocation of Article 370.
He said “Vande Bharat Express will provide all sorts of relief to passengers that we have seen at the overcrowded railway stations of Jammu Tawi, Katra and Udhampur. It is a big gift for the people of Kashmir,” Raina added. (IANS)