Bhubaneswar: Opposition BJP and Congress slammed Wednesday the Odisha government for its alleged failure to check liquor consumption and illegal drugs trade in Odisha. The Opposition members asked the government to take exemplary action against the liquor mafia and drug traders. The BJP moved an adjournment motion in the Assembly over the growing drug trade in the state.
Participating in the motion, Opposition chief whip Mohan Charan Majhi said the illegal drug trade is flourishing in Odisha. Many youths are falling prey to the contraband due to the incompetency of the state government.
“The state government is dependent on the revenue generated from the authorised sale of excise products. As a result, Odisha ranks third in the country in terms of addiction,” Majhi said.
In Odisha, 31 per cent people aged between 10 and 75 years are addicted to liquor or any other contraband. Ganja and brown sugar smuggling has gone up significantly in the state, Majhi pointed out.
“Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik gave a call March 23, 2021 for the inclusion of Ahimsa (non-violence) in the Preamble of Indian Constitution and the Odisha Assembly passed a unanimous resolution in this regard. The state government is saying that it has been inspired by the ideology of Gandhiji then it should explain why liquor traders are being rewarded for record sales” asked the BJP chief whip.
Congress Legislature Party leader Narasingha Mishra alleged that the Excise department is embroiled in corruption from top to bottom. Illegal brewing of liquor is also on the rise, he said, adding that exemplary measures should be taken to curb the illegal sale of liquor and banned drugs.
Congress MLA Tara Prasad Bahinipati alleged that BJD leaders are involved in ganja smuggling. He alleged that the drug traffickers are participating in BJD meetings.
Replying to the motion, Excise Minister Aswini Kumar Patra said a total of 3,359 persons have been arrested for illegal liquor trade in 2021-22 while 1.97 lakh kg ganja and 61,636 grams of brown sugar were seized during the period. In 11 cases, properties worth Rs 21.09 crore have been confiscated, the minister added.