Congress, NCP strongly oppose Lakshadweep Excise Regulation Bill that would permit liquor outlets in island


Kavaratti: The Lakshadweep administration’s move to permit liquor outlets in the archipelago has come under attack from political parties, including the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party.

A draft on the proposed Excise Regulation Bill was published by the Lakshadweep administration on August 3 seeking suggestions from the public. The Bill, which will permit the sale and consumption of liquor in the archipelago, has drawn widespread criticism from various corners.

The administration has asked the residents to submit their comments and suggestions within 30 days.

The National Students Union of India (NSUI), the student wing of the Congress, alleged that the move will open the doors of Lakshadweep to “liquor mafia”.

In a recent statement, NSUI said the islands should remain liquor-free and urged the public to submit their comments in this regard.

Meanwhile, NCP MP P P Mohammed Faizal strongly opposed the Bill and said it will be dealt with politically and legally. He said the people of Lakshadwepp will stand together and oppose this move.

Former MP from the island and Congress leader, Hamdulla Sayeed, said the new Bill will open the archipelago to “liquor mafia” and traders.

He said under Congress rule, the island was free from liquor for decades and there are low incidents of crimes or violence.

Sayeed urged the administration to withdraw the draft law saying it might affect the normal life of the islanders and might lead the youngsters to addiction.

Even though liquor is banned under the Lakshadweep Prohibition Regulation, 1979, it is being served at the resorts in Bangaram, an uninhabited island, for international tourists.

The notice seeking the opinion of the public on the draft Bill was issued on August 3 by Additional District Magistrate R Giri Sankar.

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