BJP MLA Ravinder Raina demanded that Jammu and Kashmir be declared a dry state and that alcohol and bars be banned immediately, drawing support from legislators from across the political spectrum but not enough for the Speaker in the assembly to conclude that the majority was in its favour.
J&K finance minister Haseeb Drabu said freedom of choice should be respected. Raina, while referring to the growing menace of alcoholism, especially in Jammu, said a ban should be imposed immediately in border areas, which are the first line of defence for the country and where militants move in.
“Ban alcohol in my constituency of Nowshera, where alcohol shops are outside gurudwara, ashram and school. Many people have procured licences illegally. Alcohol is an extremely bad thing and a big problem. It should be banned across the state,” Ravinder Raina said.
Senior National Conference legislator Muhammad Akbar Lone supported Raina, saying that the youth of the state were being pushed towards alcoholism and drug addiction. “The government probably wants every resident of Jammu to turn alcoholic and drug addict. After alcohol cannabis should be banned as well,” he said.