The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) a major constituent of Bihar’s ruling Grand Alliance, on Tuesday decided to support and join Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s proposed human chain to raise awareness about the liquor prohibition issue in the state.
“All RJD leaders and workers have been asked to join human chain to ensure its success,” RJD Chief Lalu Prasad told media. The BJP also decided to join the human chain after Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised Nitish Kumar for his policy of imposing liquor prohibition in Bihar.
“The BJP will take part in human chain in support of prohibition but a formal decision will be taken by January 12,” the BJP’s state unit President Nityanand Rai said. Rai was supported by senior party leader and Union Minister Radha Mohan Singh, who said that the BJP always supported Nitish Kumar’s total prohibition.
Till last week most of the senior BJP leaders in Bihar, including Union Ministers, were questioning the liquor ban and publicly termed it as a black law. “Prohibition is a good step. Any step for social change is very difficult but Nitish Kumar has initiated it by enforcing prohibition. All people, including political parties, should back him,” Modi said during a Prakash Utsav function, commemorating 350th birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh, here in Gandhi Maidan on Thursday.
Nitish Kumar had also supported the surgical strike by the Indian Army last year across the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir. Nitish Kumar had planned a 5,000-km-long human chain on January 21 to bolster support among common people on the prohibition. However, on Saturday, he decided to double up the length of the proposed 11,000-km long human chain after receiving praise from the Prime Minister.
The human chain is likely to be 11,292 km long covering almost the entire state. According to state government officials, nearly two crore people will join the human chain.
After liquor prohibition was enforced in Bihar on April 2016, more than 16,000 people have been arrested on charges of either consuming or transporting liquor in the state.