Based on the Supreme Court's observation on Monday that its relaxation on functioning of liquor shops on highways within municipal limits in Chandigarh is applicable for all states, the opposition parties in Tamil Nadu have revived their demand for complete prohibition in the state.
For instance, DMK working president M K Stalin on Tuesday asked the Tamil Nadu government not to reopen the shops that it had closed previously, after the previous Supreme Court order. Speaking to Times of India, he said, "A party that came to power on the promise of implementing prohibition in the state has been busy increasing the number of Tasmac outlets, thereby hitting hard the working class and increasing the sufferings of womenfolk in Tamil Nadu. When the Supreme Court ordered the closure of liquor outlets operating on the national and state highways and up to 500 metres from them, the state government should have utilised that opportunity to usher in total prohibition in the state."
He further accused that the state government, instead of using the opportunity to implement complete prohibition indulged in denotifying the highways so that reopening the shops was possible. He said, "Further, it was also looking at opportunities to approach Supreme Court for getting suitable relief on this front. I urge the state government once again to immediately drop any plans for reopening closed or opening new Tasmac outlets in the state."
PMK leader S Ramadoss also expressed his displeasure on the Supreme Court's observation and said that his party would continue to fight against the total prohibition of liquor in the state. He said, "Though there are several issues to focus on, the ruling AIADMK government is more concerned about getting the relief from the court to open new liquor outlets. The PMK will aggressively renew its fight for implementation of total prohibition in Tamil Nadu and is confident of achieving it."
Off late, Tamil Nadu has been witnessing violent movements pertaining to the total prohibition of alcohol, especially after the death of Gandhian activist from Salem, Sasiperumal during a protest demanding closure of liquor shops in Kanyakumari. According to a report by Scroll.in, even students have taken to the roads and vandalising shops to voice their protest against liquor shops. Incidentally, these protests have taken place since 2015, leaving the state puzzled with the people's reaction toward the issue.