Raipur: During Navaratra, when the whole state seems to immerse in devotion and people are either abstaining or avoiding liquor intake and non-vegetarian food, the government-supported Chhattisgarh’s beverage company, under the circumstances, has threatened to sack employees who fail to meet liquor sales targets in the state.
A letter issued by the General Manager of Chhattisgarh State Marketing Corporation Limited (CSMCL) dated October 4, 2021, said, "The salesman who fails to achieve the liquor sales target should be sacked. The order copy also states that all the salesmen who were posted in liquor shops for more than a year should be transferred.
It has created controversy following the ruling party's promise on banning liquor in the state in its election manifesto.
During the Chhattisgarh Assembly elections, to garner support from the anti-liquor supporters and women, the Congress party mentioned in its manifesto to ban liquor sale in the state if their party voted to power in the state, said Durga Jha, a Raipur based social activist.
"To create a road map to ban the liquor sale in the state, the government of Chhattisgarh had already constituted a committee, whose reports were awaited. But the recent order says that the government has no intention to ban liquor in the state, we as the public feel cheated," Jha added.
However, on the issue of liquor ban in the state, the leader of the opposition, Dharamlal Kaushik criticized the government in strong words saying that more than two and half years passed, the Congress party is in the government. Congress party leaders who promised to ban liquor in the state while holding Gangajal into their hands have taken a U-turn on this issue.
Instead of banning liquor, the government has started online liquor sales, and home delivery of liquor, the BJP leader said. Out of the total liquor sold, sixty percent of liquor is illegal, even government shops sell illegal liquor. Chhattisgarh has become a transit state for liquor smuggling and narcotic products, Chhattisgarh has become 'Udta Chhattisgarh', Kaushik alleged.
The money obtained from the illegal liquor sale is transferred to Congress party leaders so that they can fund elections. This is why the government has not shown any will to prohibit liquor sale in the state, alleged the BJP leader.
One trader earlier associated with liquor supply on the verge of anonymity confirmed that money collected from illegal liquor sales reaches the top leaders and officers.
Notably, the government of Chhattisgarh sets a target of Rs 5,200 crore revenue collection from liquor sale, and on average, it receives Rs 500 crore from this business, the trader said.