Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren on Friday stated that the government was coming up with a blueprint or a white paper on liquor legalisation in the state.
The statement came at a time when various CVOs like the Coalition Against Drugs and Alcohol (CADA) and women groups are demanding the revocation of cabinet decision to partially lift liquor prohibition and to produce a white paper regarding the said proposal.
Speaking to the media on the sidelines of Jana Neta Hijam Irawat Day celebration at Irawat Square, Lilashing Khongnangkhong in Thangmeiband, the chief minister said that the government is preparing a blueprint or a white paper as demanded by CADA.
Biren further announced that the blueprint, along with ‘dos and don’ts’ to be followed while brewing and selling of liquor, once legalised, will be issued within a short period of time. He added that the government will not be taking any decision haphazardly and there will be due consideration with stakeholders once the blueprint is finalised.
Biren also reiterated that the decision is to prevent people from consuming adulterated liquor considering the health hazards posed by consumption of adulterated liquor.
Notably, while speaking during the programme, the chief minister also instructed police officials to launch drives against selling of adulterated liquor in plastic wrappers.
Meanwhile, Biren led the state in paying rich tributes to Jana Neta Hijam Irawat during the state-level observance.
Speaking as the chief guest of the observance, he said the government and the public are working together as a team and moving forward, and further assured that the government will never take up any work or policy which will harm or will be against the people of the state.
He said the government will work hand in hand with the people of the state, and added that being a democracy there will be some who will disagree but the government will work in accordance with the majority of the public.
The chief minister said that the real meaning of the observance will be realised when one not only offers flowers to the late leader’s statue but is able to follow his footsteps and do some good for the society.
He recounted that Jana Neta Hijam Irawat stood for the downtrodden, poor, upliftment of the poor and believed in a united Manipur of both hills and valley.
The chief minister also said that Jana Neta Hijam Irawat had served the society in various capacities. He was a poet, a journalist, theatre artiste, polo player, a leader and guide during the Nupi Lal of 1939, he added.
Meanwhile, giving the presidential address, Power, Forest, Environment and Climate Change, Agriculture, Science & Technology Minister Thongam Biswajit said that it is time to understand why we are observing the day.
Jana Neta Hijam Irawat believed in a strong and united Manipur, he said, adding that the younger generation should follow and imbibe Jana Neta Hijam Irawat’s ideals of unity and eradicating inequality amongst the people.
The minister also highlighted the late leader’s various services for the society.
As a part of the observance, Chief Minister Biren laid a wreath laying ceremony at the statue of the Jana Neta Hijam Irawat. Artistes of the Shri Shri Bal Mukunda Dev Government Music College, palace Compound performed the opening and closing songs.