Banning liquor biggest example of practising secularism: Bihar CM

New Delhi: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday said banning liquor was the biggest example of practising secularism and urged the Congress and Left parties to announce such bans in the states governed by them.

“In all religions — Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Sikhism and Buddhism — consumption of liquor is termed bad. I want to ask the Congress and the Left parties — since they talk about secularism a lot — why don’t they talk about liquor bans in states ruled by them? Why don’t they run campaigns against it?” the Chief Minister said while addressing Janata Dal-United (JD-U) Delhi unit workers at the Talkatora Stadium here.

Nitish Kumar, who is also the JD-U President, recalled that while addressing a meeting in Patna ahead of assembly elections in Bihar, some women had requested him for a ban on liquor in the state. “And I promised that if my government returns to power, I will do so,” he said.

He said it required a lot of courage to ban liquor, which was done in Bihar in April 2016.

Talking of Bihari migrants living outside the state, the Chief Minister said they were Indian citizens who could, as per the Indian Constitution, go anywhere in the country to live and earn a living.

“If Bihar people living in Delhi stop working for a day, the city will come to a standstill,” Nitish Kumar said.

The JD-U leader exhorted the workers to expand the party base in the national capital.

“There is opportunity since lakhs of people from Bihar live and work here,” he said.

He also asked party leaders in Delhi to take up problems faced by residents of over 1,642 unauthorised colonies. “The party leader must take up the issues as colony residents are living in miserable conditions without proper drinking water or power,” he said.

“I visited some areas of Delhi and was shocked to see conditions there. Even conditions in Bihar villages are much better,” he quipped.