Raj CM says liquor intake in dry Guj highest, Rupani hits back

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Monday took strong exception to his Rajasthan counterpart Ashok Gehlot’s claim that liquor was freely available in Gujarat and its consumption was highest there among all states.

Rajasthan govt's priority to ensure good health of citizens: Gehlot

Rajasthan govt's priority to ensure good health of citizens: Gehlot

Ahmedabad: Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Monday took strong exception to his Rajasthan counterpart Ashok Gehlot’s claim that liquor was freely available in Gujarat and its consumption was highest there among all states.

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He claimed such statements by Congress leaders showed their “dislike” for Gujarat and its people, including Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Rupani sought an apology from Gehlot, and said he was making such statements as the Congress failed to win in the 2017 Gujarat polls.

Prohibition is in force in Gujarat where manufacture, storage and consumption of liquor is banned.

On Sunday, Gehlot questioned Gujarat’s prohibition policy, claiming that liquor was being consumed in “almost all households”, despite the ban since Independence.

“Gehlot and the Congress must apologise for making such allegations. He is making such statements against Gujaratis because he could not ensure his party’s win in the (2017) Assembly polls here. He has insulted all of Gujarat and its people by calling each of them drunkard,” Rupani said.

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Gehlot was Gujarat Congress in-charge during the 2017 Assembly polls.

Rupani said such remarks by Congress leaders reflected their “dislike” for Gujarat and its people, including Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“Even people of Rajasthan were in favour of liquor ban there. But instead of understanding their sentiments, Congress leaders are saying liquor is consumed in every household in Gujarat. This is an insult of Gujarat and people will not forgive the Congress for this,” Rupani said.

On Sunday, Gehlot said during his stay in Gujarat for a year during polls, he found “maximum consumption” of liquor in the state, adding that “liquor is consumed in almost all households”.

This is the situation in Mahatma Gandhi’s Gujarat, he told reporters on Sunday.

Gujarat BJP president Jitu Vaghani said Gehlot insulted people of the state and revered personalities like Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel, and asked if the statement also meant that Congress workers were consuming liquor here.

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“Instead of worrying about Gujarat, Gehlot should focus on (Rajasthan’s deputy chief minister) Sachin Pilot,” he said, in a veiled dig at the Congress over reports of infighting and factionalism in the party in the neighbouring state.

However, Gujarat Congress MLA Lalit Kagathara said Gehlot highlighted the issue of illegal liquor sale in the BJP-led state, and rather Rupani should apologise for failing to enforce prohibition in his state.

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