Lokesh to CM: Give road map for ‘prohibition’

-TDP to block both Houses till Govt answers
-15 J-liquor deaths added to 28 illicit liquor deaths
-Condemns ‘reverse privilege motion’ on TDP
-CM running House with marshals, State with police

AMARAVATI: The TDP legislators led by party National General Secretary Nara Lokesh on Thursday asserted that their party would continue to obstruct the Council and Assembly till the Government gave its road map for implementation of ‘prohibition promise’.

The TDP lawmakers said their agitation would stop only if Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy tendered explanation on his false statement on illicit liquor deaths. The CM deliberately misled both the legislature and people by portraying liquor fatalities as ‘natural deaths’.

The Telugu Desam legislators asked how CM Jagan Reddy could say there was no illicit liquor anywhere in the State when the special enforcement bureau (SEB) filed 1,129 cases in just five days. The SEB was functioning directly under the CM, who was however making false statements. There were official reports about 18,000 illicit liquor dens in AP and thousands of non-duty paid (NDP) liquor cases were being filed everyday.

Addressing a joint press conference after the adjournment of House, Nara Lokesh asserted that the Chief Minister had a moral binding to explain why he misled all the 5 crore people of Andhra Pradesh. The Chairman rejected the TDP privilege notice without giving valid reasons. Instead of clarifying on illicit liquor deaths, the ruling YSRCP members moved a reverse privilege motion against the TDP.

Lokesh recalled how Jagan Mohan Reddy projected phased prohibition as one of the important ‘ratnam’ (jewel) among his ‘Navaratna’ promises. The CM had systematically made a mockery of his own prohibition promise by refusing to debate the issue for the past four days. Moreover, Jagan Reddy was aiming to collect over Rs. 24,000 Cr revenue from liquor sales this year.

Nara Lokesh asserted that the Chief Minister owed an explanation on the 28 illicit liquor deaths and also the latest 15 deaths caused by J-brands of cheap liquor. These cheap liquor deaths took place at one hospital in Eluru in the past 15 days. The TDP chief had called for collecting information on J-liquor deaths all over the State.

The TDP legislators condemned the manner in which the YCP Government was taking the help of marshals to run the Assembly and the Council. The CM and his party MLAs had lost their moral standing in all aspects. They were misusing the police to suppress all questioning voices in the public and using the marshals to silence the opposition in the legislature bodies.

Earlier, the TDP MLAs and MLCs led by Lokesh took out a rally outside the Assembly, holding placards and raising slogans against the YCP liquor betrayals. They said the poor drinkers were falling prey to illicit liquor on the one hand and fatal J-brands of cheap liquor on the other. CM Jagan Reddy would not be able to evade his responsibility on this aspect for long.

The TDP legislators said the case sheets of 15 patients at Elur hospital clearly revealed that they died due to alcohol. There were more such cases at the same hospital but the ruling party was using force to block information.