Jammu: After severe opposition and criticism, the government on Thursday said it will consider private member’s bills seeking ban on Alcohol in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
The statement was made by minister for law and justice, Abdul Haq Khan in the Legislative Assembly while replying to a bill moved by opposition NC MLA Sheikh Ishfaq Jabbar and Congress MLA G M Saroori.
Earlier, Jabbar moved a billing seeking prohibition on advertisement, sale, purchase, consumption and manufacture of Alcohol drinks in the state.
In his reply Minister of state for finance Ajay Nanda opposed the bill saying JK was a tourist state and imposing ban on alcohol will have a negative impact on inflow of the tourists to the state.
Following the statement, the opposition members castigated the government saying that alcohol was already banned in Gujrat, Rajasthan which are also tourist states.
In the meantime, speaker ‘tactfully’ announced that the Assembly has rejected the bill.
The announcement enraged the opposition leaders and said maximum members were in support of the bill. “Let House be allowed to go for voting second time,” yelled NC Legislator Davinder Singh Rana.
With this, entire opposition members moved towards the well of the House seeking second time voting. “Members, who support the Bill will stand up and those who oppose it will remain seated, please give this direction to the members,” Rana repeatedly shouted in the well of the House.
The House witnessed commotion almost for 20 minutes and meanwhile another opposition member G M Sraoori moved his bill seeking ban on Alcohol in the state.
“It is matter of conscious, let members support this bill as alcohol has ruined our youth and has given bad name to our society,” Saroori said, adding that the Law and Justice Minister in opposition had also moved this bill when he was in opposition.
“We committed a mistake by disallowing your bill as it landed us on this (opposition) side so you don’t repeat our mistake,” Saroori told Haq Khan.
Replying to Saroori, Minister Haq Khan told the House that government will take up both bills for consideration.
“Government has no problem for its consideration,” the minister said.