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'Will stand close to parties committed to end liquor menace'

Will stand close to parties committed to end liquor menace

Kochi: With Assembly elections around the corner, an anti-liquor committee of Kerala's Catholic church Tuesday said it would stand close to political parties committed to eradicate the menace phase by phase in the state.

Hailing the liquor policy of the Congress-led UDF, which closed down 418 bars, Madya Virudha Samiti of Kerala Catholic Bishops Conference (KCBC) said it has brought down liquor consumption in Kerala.

Samiti leader Fr Varghese Vallikkatt said the outfit was concerned about the statement by CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran that the opposition Left Democratic Front (LDF) would think of revision of the existing liquor policy.

"He (Rajendran) is saying that the LDF, if voted to power, will revise the liquor policy of the UDF government. We are concerned about his statement that the LDF liquor policy would be to bring down the consumption levels and not to prohibit liquor sales," Vallikkatt told PTI.

Dismissing suggestions that the Church was taking a pro-Congress position to help that party win the polls, Vallikkatt said it was trying to formulate a public opinion to pressurise political parties to frame a policy to eradicate the liquor consumption phase by phase in the state.

Asked whether KCBC would support BJP in case it comes up with a manifesto advocating complete ban of liquor in Kerala, he said, "We will hail it as a sensible decision and we will stand close to the parties committed to stop liquor menace in the state.

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