Patna, Jan 19 (IANS) Shyam Bahadur Singh, a former three-time Janata Dal (United) MLA, has claimed that the popularity of Nitish Kumar, the Bihar Chief Minister and his party Chief, has declined due to liquor ban in the state.
He said that if Nitish Kumar fails to provide relaxation in liquor ban then he would support Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) Chief Tejashwi Yadav in future.
Singh came to limelight following his announcement to conduct a drunkard convention in Siwan's Gandhi Maidan on Tuesday.
"If Nitish Kumar will amend the existing Liquor Prohibition law, then I will support him. If he denies it, I will make an effort for Tejashwi Yadav to make him the Chief Minister in future. The popularity of Nitish Kumar plummeted due to his liquor ban decision. Yesterday, he shut liquor and tomorrow women (kal inhone daru band kar diya or kal ye 'mehraru' (women) band kar denge)," the JD(U) MLA added.
"The popularity of Nitish Kumar has been declining and it was proven in the 2020 Assembly election when JD(U) seat tally reduced from 69 to 43. JD(U) had won 69 seats in the 2015 Assembly election," he said.
"We serve drinks (liquor) according to the choice of common people. We will arrange every brand of liquor from beer to country-made and Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL) which is popularly known as "Laal pani" or "English" in Bihar, he said.
Though, he has not given the exact date but he added that the convention will be held after the winter.
"The idea is to find the number of people who are in favour of liquor to be allowed in the state and those who are in favour of liquor ban," Singh said.
While pleading to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar with folded hands, the JD(U) MLA appealed to him to give some relaxation in the law.
"The availability of liquor is everywhere in the state. Liquor is not banned here. Nitish Kumar should allow beer and IMFL to be made available easily. For poor people, the state government should also allow country-made liquor. Poor people cannot afford English (IMFL) liquor," he said.
Asked by the media if the Chief Minister was firm on his decision and will continue the liquor ban, Singh said, "Nitish Kumar is not above the judiciary. All judges drink liquor. If Nitish Kumar does not listen to my suggestion, I will settle the matter in the next Assembly election," he added.
Following the move of the former JD(U) MLA, RJD Spokesperson Mritunjay Tiwari slammed Nitish Kumar.
"This is the real outcome of your so-called 'Samaj Sudhar Abhiyan' (Social Reform Campaign). Your party legislator is going to organise a drunkard convention in the state. What kind of Samaj Sudhar Abhiyan had you organised in various districts? First you (Nitish Kumar) should do reforms in your own party and then think of social reforms. The real truth of the liquor ban was explained by your own party leader. He is confirming that there is no liquor ban in the state."
Another RJD leader Bantu Singh said, "Your (JD-U) leader is going to announce a drunkard convention in Gandhi Maidan and your (Nitish) government has served notices to the houses of poor people in Nalanda and are forcing them to vacate it. You are completely exposed now. Why are you not taking action against Shyam Bahadur Singh, who is openly challenging your liquor ban decision."