Lalu and Nitish not on the same page on prohibition issue
Lucknow: Lalu Prasad Yadav and Nitish Kumar, two Bihar leaders, are not one at least on one issue-- crusade against booze. Neither has the former joined any meeting addressed by the latter in Bihar or outside nor has he given any statement on the subject. Some other political leaders have been as quiet.
Total prohibition was introduced in the state as early as April 1. Soon thereafter, Nitish planned tour of some parts of the country. Priority was accorded to the neighbouring state of Uttar Pradesh because of its closeness and upcoming election. Between May and middle of June Bihar chief minister has addressed four meetings.
He launched his anti-liquor campaign in Varanasi just after a few weeks of introduction of prohibition in his home state. He has travelled up to Rajasthan in connection with this mission. But, only once. Besides Bihar, he has put emphasis on Uttar Pradesh. The aim seems to be more to gain political mileage than keeping the people away from booze. But that is another story.
Married women, particularly in the lower strata, would like their husbands to be moderate drinkers, if not teetotallers. Nitish’s slogan was quite appealing to them. In recent elections majority of them voted in his favour as he had promised to introduce it after coming to power.
But all these months Rashtriya Janata Dal chief, Lalu, has either not raised the topic or did not attach much significance to it. It is another matter that he has been more successful in Bihar election than Nitish, although he paid more attention to other issues.