While on one hand, Bihar’s Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is leaving no stone unturned to keep the tag of ‘dry state’, on the other, his ministers are themselves are becoming roadblocks.
On January 1, Bihar’s Urban Development and Housing Minister Suresh Kumar Sharma, along with others got into an alleged brawl while staying at Sonar Bangla hotel, Tarapith in Birbhum district, West Bengal. A complaint lodged by the hotel stated that the visitors were fully drunk.
The hotel staff and Sharma’s group accused each other of assault following an argument over obtaining the refund in cash for room cancellation.
Pranab Manna, the front office manager of the hotel, told The Telegraph that he could smell alcohol on the breath of most members of the team while they were arguing.
Sunil Giri, the manager also added,
The minister was also drunk and his eyes were droopy. It was clear that most of the members, barring a lady, were fully drunk.
According to Giri, the team members refused to listen when he told them that the booking amount could only be refunded online as they had made the reservation online. However, the minister denied the charges made by the hotel staff and also alleged that the employees attacked the group.
An anti-liquor law is in effect in Bihar since April 2017. Since then Nitish Kumar has been emphasising on the need for community participation to check the lucrative trade of alcohol in the state. The chief minister also urges women and youth to educate alcoholics about the ill-effects of liquor consumption.