Earlier, it was the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) that criticised the Left Democratic Front (LDF) leaders for a lack of clarity in their liquor policy. But the issue of six new bar licences to five-star hotels by the UDF government, after announcing it will implement prohibition in stages, has given the LDF leaders an opportunity to hit back.
Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan said the UDF is cheating the public with its liquor policy . He said it is not a wonder that the UDF government that followed a corrupt practices, has issued new bar licences. LDF convenor Vaikom Viswan said liquor is flowing while Chief Minister Oommen Chandy is lying about prohibition.
Faced with criticism, KPCC president V M Sudheeran said the situation in which the licence was issued would be examined. He said the prohibition policy would be made flawless. Home minister Ramesh Chennithala said the time of approval of the licences will be examined.
Chief Minister Chandy said there is no change in the liquor policy of the government. He said a relook of the policy can be done at any time.
However, the chief minister's initial reaction that the bar licence to five-star hotels is decided by the union government was refuted by union minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy. He said issuing liquor licence is a matter that is decided by the state government.