Amaravati, Mar 14: Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy slammed Telugu Desam Party (TDP) for politicizing the Jangareddygudem deaths for their vested interests and said they should refrain from spreading false propaganda on illicit liquor.
Before the commencement of general discussion on Budget in Legislative Assembly, the Chief Minister said the population of Jangareddygudem was 48,994 according to 2011 census and considering 12 percent growth during this decade, it would be 54,880 people and added that not all the deaths occurred in same place.
He said 18 deaths have been registered in the municipality. He said the death rate is estimated at 2 percent across the country and even in our state and which means atleast 90 people die naturally due to illness, old age, or accidents and said TDP has been distorting the facts and politicizing the natural deaths.
The Chief Minister questioned why the state government supports the manufacturers of hooch. He said country made liquor is not new and it was prepared in TDP regime also and it still happens here and there and that is the reason for setting up of special police force called the Special Enforcement Bureau (SEB). He said orders were given to take stringent measures to curb illicit liquor in the state. He said the intention and quest of the government is to reduce the consumption of alcohol and thus closed 43,000 belt shops after coming into power. He said there used to be 4,380 alcohol shops with permit rooms allowing 50-60 people drink in those rooms and added that the state government abolished permit rooms after coming to power.
The Chief Minister said while liquor was available everywhere through belt shops in TDP’s regime, the state government have taken over liquor shops and running them and the shops were being closed at fixed times and reminded that liquor used to be sold till 12 AM or 1 AM in the previous government. He said the consumption of alcohol was reduced due to the new high rates. He said the high cost of alcohol has lead to increase in illicit liquor and based on the recommendations of SEB and opposition parties, the rates were again reduced and questioned why consumption of illicit liquor would increase after the prices of alcohol is reduced. He asserted that the state government is against illicit liquor and orders were given to SEB to curb it. He said more than 13,000 cases were registered against those involved in illicit liquor and it was done to curb illicit liquor. The Chief Minister said TDP leaders are politicizing natural deaths and propagating false information that illicit liquor is cause of death of people in Jangareddygudem.
Earlier, making a statement over the tragedy, Deputy Chief Minister (Health) Alla Krishna Srinivas said he along with officials, on the direction of the Chief Minister, have visited the victims’ families in Jangareddygudem and directed to take necessary measures and TDP has been making baseless allegations for political mileage. He said a section of media has deliberately filed reports against the state government on Jangareddygudem issue and added that 18 deaths happened over a week period of which 15 people were dead in their homes. He said the state government has ordered for postmortem of two people who died in hospital and the reports are yet to come and the cause of death will be known once the reports are out.
The Minister flayed TDP Chief Chandrababu Naidu for visiting Jangareddygudem only to politicize the deaths and questioned if the opposition leader has gone to console the victims or to show their strength.