Chennai: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar favoured nationwide prohibition saying there could be no greater way of paying tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary in 2019 than implementing liquor ban.
Participating at a memorial event for the late DMK chief M Karunanidhi, who died on 7 August, he said implementation of prohibition was Bihar’s tribute to Gandhi on completion of 100 years of the Champaran satyagrah.
Sharing his experience in implementing prohibition since 2016, Kumar said: “It is heartening to see a deep seated social transformation taking place in Bihar.”
Prohibition has resulted in healthy citizens, economic betterment of families and reduction in domestic violence. “It has led to a more empowered and healthy society, the results of which are visible in the development of Bihar.”
Kumar said Karunanidhi favoured a “complete ban on liquor,” and recalled that the DMK had promised implementation of prohibition in its manifesto for the 2016 assembly polls.
Referring to the liquor ban in Bihar, Karunanidhi had announced that if the DMK came back to power, the party would take all steps to implement prohibition for social betterment.
As a successor to the great leader, it is the responsibility of M K Stalin to fulfill the wish of Karunanidhi when the party returns to power, he said.
Paying tributes to Karunanidhi, Kumar hailed the late leader for his political statesmanship and in formation of coalition governments at the Centre. He said Karunanidhi played an influential role in implementing the Mandal Commission report on reservation for backward classes.
Kumar lauded Karunanidhi for initiating several welfare measures during his stint as the Chief Minister. Karunanidhi took an active part in formulating a Common Minimum Programme for the NDA government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
As chief minister, Karunanidhi took effective steps for employment generation, infrastructure development, river linking projects in the state and rural electrification since the 1970s.
The DMK patriarch ensured equal property rights to women, 30 per cent reservation for women in government jobs and 33 per cent reservation in panchayati raj institutions, he said.
Karunanidhi was active in politics for almost eight decades and was the DMK president for 50 years, he said, adding that he started off as PWD minister in 1967.
The late leader piloted widow remarriage and fought against religious hypocrisy, he said.
Karunanidhi’s ideals and work will continue to inspire generations of political and social workers besides leaders, Kumar said. The DMK will grow with the blessings of the late leader and the able leadership of Stalin, he said.