Panaji, Jan 28 : Maharashtra Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis on Friday said that the Maha Vikas Aghadi government's decision on Thursday to allow sale of liquor in supermarkets smacked of a "deal", adding that efforts were afoot to convert Maharashtra to Madhya-Rashtra (liquor state).
Fadnavis also said that the decision was taken to facilitate the business interests of entrepreneurs who had started new liquor factories and alcohol agencies, while alleging the hand of a famous wine manufacturer in the decision, which he said was taken for "economic reasons".
"I want to ask, in whose interest was this decision taken?... This is not a decision made in the interest of farmers. Some new people have started liquor factories or liquor agencies. You find out who they are. And the decision has been taken for the benefit of such people," Fadnavis told a press conference in Panaji.
"Not just this, who has met a famous wine manufacturer and where it happened. Did it happen abroad, we want to ask these questions. This is not a decision that was simply taken, there is an economic reason for this decision. This is an economic decision. We condemn this government's dream of converting Maharastra into a liquor state," Fadnavis also said, adding that the BJP would oppose the decision.
Asked to comment on a similar decision taken by the Madhya Pradesh government, Fadnavis said: "I do not live in Madhya Pradesh. I live in Maharashtra. In Maharashtra, there was an effort to take such a decision eight years ago. We had opposed it at the time. Anna Hazare had also protested and the government was forced to take back the decision. We need to understand the deal which has taken place, to find out why the decision has been taken to convert Maharashtra into 'Madhya Rashtra'.