The peaceful northeastern state of Mizoram might see some high-pitched politicking over liquor soon. The main opposition in the state, Mizo National Front (MNF), led by former chief minister Zoramthanga, has decided to launch a state-wide agitation against the Congress government for, what it claims, promoting a ‘liquor culture’ in the Christian-dominated state.
In 2015, Mizoram had lifted the 18-year blanket ban on liquor. The Mizoram Liquor (Total Prohibition) Act of 1995, which was implemented in 1997, was replaced by the Congress regime with the Mizoram Liquor (Prohibition and Control) Bill 2014, which allowed the sale of liquor. Despite the move being vehemently opposed by powerful church groups in Mizoram, the state government went ahead. The MNF has charged that in the past one year deaths due to excessive consumption of alcohol have increased manifold. Mizoram’s money is being ‘drained out’ to purchase foreign alcohol, it said.
The party has decided to launch an agitation asking the government to impose alcohol prohibition from September 15. Mizoram is going to polls in 2017. Political observers believe that MNF is going to make the anti-liquor agitation its poll plank.
The MNF is part of the BJP-led Northeast Democratic Alliance, an anti-Congress political platform. In all likelihood, the MNF and BJP may go for a pre-poll alliance in the state.