राजनीतिक दलों और शराब माफियाओं का चोली दामन का साथ रहा है

Liquor is a business that appears to be legal, but in reality three types of mafia operate in it. The first industrialists are those who take up liquor shops or contracts legally in a group or in a single form as per the excise policy of the states.

In Delhi, the Central Bureau of Investigation has registered an FIR against AAP Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and officials alleging changes in the new excise policy aimed at benefiting the liquor mafia. This is not the first time that the ruling party has been accused of changing the excise policy to benefit the liquor mafia. There is hardly any state in the country whose governments are not influenced by the liquor mafia. However, in the case of Delhi, whether the Kejriwal government has actually changed policies to benefit the mafia or not will be decided by the court. However, the political parties and the liquor mafia have been indiscriminate. There is hardly a state in the country where politicians are not involved in the liquor business. Leaders run this business in the name of their family. In other states including Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, politicians have also been accused of being liquor mafia.

Liquor is a business that appears to be legal, but in reality three types of mafia operate in it. The first industrialists are those who take up liquor shops or contracts legally in a group or in a single form as per the excise policy of the states. In any case, they have to pay a certain amount to the state as liquor sales. Such legal liquor contractors have the power to distort the government’s excise policy. This is how most politicians participate in liquor contracts. Such liquor barons keep obliging the leaders and officers of political parties from time to time, so that they are at the mercy of the government. The government wants to award liquor contracts or allot shops region wise in the state. Besides, the state government decides whether to release the guarantee amount to the contractors despite the loss of revenue due to non-sale of the prescribed liquor. A similar allegation has been leveled against the AAP government in Delhi.

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Another type of liquor mafia is those who secretly smuggle liquor to other states to meet the target of liquor sales in their state. This involves most of the contractors, who have legally taken the liquor contract. Such contractors smuggle liquor with the connivance of the Excise and Police Departments, especially in the districts of the border states. Gujarat is an example. Liquor ban is enforced in Gujarat and Bihar, but alcohol is considered auspicious here. Liquor is smuggled into Gujarat from the districts bordering Rajasthan. Recently, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot had alleged that liquor was easily available in Gujarat during the election campaign, though Gehlot did not say where the liquor was coming from. Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani denied the allegation and called it a conspiracy to defame the Gujarat government.

After these two types of liquor mafia, the third type of liquor mafia is doing illegal business of raw or country liquor in a particular area. This mafia is active in almost all the states of the country. These mafias produce illegal liquor especially for the poor and working class. The price of liquor made from it is much less than the price of country liquor available in the state. This is also the real reason for its development. This mafia is also responsible for the deaths due to poisonous liquor in the country. A cat and mouse race is going on in the police-excise department to catch the mafia. However, this mafia could never be eradicated completely. In the past, dozens of people died after drinking similar fake liquor in Bihar and Gujarat. Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Tejashwi Yadav, who recently became deputy chief minister in the Nitish government in Bihar, accused a state minister of being involved in the illegal sale of liquor.

The question is also why state governments encourage its sale despite all the harm caused by alcohol, the answer is the huge revenue generated from its sale. Through which states run their welfare schemes. The government earns about three lakh crore rupees from the sale of liquor in the country. In many states, 10 to 20 percent of total revenue comes from liquor sales. State governments keep increasing the revenue target by a certain percentage every year. In other words, however harmful alcohol may be, its business thrives under the umbrella of governments. No government wants to lose such a huge amount of money. Apart from this, the same mafias also arrange liquor and money for political parties and independent candidates during elections, so as to attract the weaker section of voters. In such a situation, the government is far from taking action against the black exploits of the mafia, but the government is trying to bind them somehow. Despite all the legal provisions of excise and police, it is beyond the power of the government to crack down on the liquor mafia. In such a scenario, ruling parties will continue to be accused of easing policies and giving concessions to liquor traders while awarding liquor contracts to states.

– Yogendra Yogi

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