Zoramthanga announces dry days during X'mas, New Year in Mizoram
Aizawl : Chief Minister Zoramthanga-led Mizo National Front (MNF) government has decided to declare dry days from next Friday to January 14 across the state. Wine shops will remain shut throughout this period.
Zoramthanga was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Mizoram on December 15 after the MNF swept the November 28 polls by securing 26 seats in the 40-member House. Restoring a total ban on liquor was one of Zoramthanga's pre-poll promises.
"The total ban on liquor was our commitment before the polls and we are going to fulfil it. It will take some time for us to enact legislation in this regard. So we have decided to declare dry days from next Friday to January 14. Our effort will be to enact a law as soon as possible," said Zoramthanga while talking to reporters in Aizawl on Tuesday.
Mizoram was a dry state from 1997 till 2015, when the then ruling Congress government revoked the ban on liquor. Following the order, liquor shops thrived in the Christian majority state. According to the Congress, lifting of the ban has not only improved the state's revenue earnings but has brought down alcohol-related deaths.
Liquor was one of the major poll issues for all political parties. While the MNF promised a total ban on liquor, the Congress opposed it. The BJP on the other hand supported the ban on liquor partially and assured that only locally produced liquor will be allowed in the state.
The Church bodies, who play a major role in the elections in Mizoram, however, favoured a complete ban on liquor.
While the MNF won 26 seats, the Congress who ruled the state for 10 years could retain only five seats followed by the BJP who could win only one seat in the hill state.