DMK treasurer M K Stalin vowed on 10 August that if his party is voted to power in the Assembly polls next year, it will implement prohibition on liquor as the first task. Stalin reaffirmed his party position in Chennai, leading a protest demonstration as similar agitations were held across Tamil Nadu seeking prohibition.
"I would like to stress this and make it categorical. As soon as DMK assumes power, as a first task we will implement prohibition, we will do it," Stalin said. Elections for the State Assembly are scheduled to be held by April next year.
Mounting pressure on the AIADMK regime over the issue which is already facing a string of protests by opposition parties, voluntary outfits and section of students, he alleged that the ruling party "opened up liquor outlets in every nook and corner."
Referring to DMK chief Karunanidhi's declaration last month that steps will be taken to implement prohibition if his party wins general elections next year, Stalin said, "He (Karunanidhi) will utter only what he is going to do and it will happen (implementing prohibition) and in front of you I would like to vow that it will be done."
Seeking to blunt opposition criticism on prohibition, Electricity Minister Natham Viswanathan had recently said that the opposition parties were agitating on this issue "only to gain political mileage and damage reputation of the government." The protests seeking prohibition intensified after the death of Gandhian activist Sasi Perumal during an anti-liquor agitation on July 31 in Kanyakumari district.
Opposition parties MDMK, MMK and VCK gave a call for a statewide bandh on August 4 seeking dry law but it was successful only in a few pockets like Kanyakumari and saw a lukewarm response in other parts of the state.