Liquor dealers in Mizoram have taken the Zoramthanga government to court for losses caused by extension of dry days initially meant for the Christmas season.In keeping with its election promise, the Mizo National Front government had banned the sale of liquor from December 21, 2018, to January 14, 2019. The ban was later extended till March 10.On Thursday, the Mizoram Liquor Vendors’ Association and each owner of the State’s three bonded warehouses filed separate lawsuits in the Aizawl Bench of the Gauhati High Court seeking to know how their losses would be recovered and whether the government has any prohibition policy in place.The court has set January 22 as the date of hearing and has asked the State government to produce the proceedings of the Cabinet meetings leading to the imposition of dry days.After the first Cabinet meeting on December 18, 2018, the government closed down nine State-run liquor outlets and declared dry days from December 21, 2018, to January 14, 2019, in view of Christmas and New Year celebrations. Republic Day and the local Chapchar Kut festival were the reasons cited for extending the dry day to March 10 after the second Cabinet meeting on January 10.Mounting expenses“The government has kept us in a limbo by not saying clearly whether we have to wind up. Extension of dry days has hit our business hard. We are maintaining our outlets, paying employees and taking care of other mounting expenses,” said Francis Sailo, an Aizawl-based liquor vendor. The liquor dealers said the State government should have come out with an exit policy with a time-frame to phase out the business. They said the uncertainty has led to piling up of liquor stock since the dealers have to honour their permits for purchase till March this year.Under pressure from the influential church, total prohibition was first imposed via the Mizoram Liquor Total Prohibition Act in 1997 when Lal Thanhawla was the Chief Minister. The move, however, did not help his Congress party win the Assembly election the following year.The Congress replaced total prohibition by controlled prohibition 18 years later through the Mizoram Liquor (Prohibition and Control) Act of 2014. A few wine shops were accordingly opened in 2015 and the State government recorded around ₹70 crore in annual revenue through the sale of alcohol.Push from church An unhappy church commissioned a study on the effects of alcohol on individuals and the Mizo society. A team of academics concluded in 2018 that the social cost of liquor was higher than the revenue earned.Liquor dealers said the liquor stock unsold since the imposition of the Zoramthanga government’s dry day order was worth more than ₹40 crore. “The government should either buy this stock or compensate us,” a dealer said.
Phagu Chauhan was on Monday sworn in as the 40th Governor of Bihar, an official said. The 71-year-old Mr. Chauhan succeeded Lalji Tandon, who is now the Governor of Madhya Pradesh. He was administered the oath by Patna High Court Chief Justice Amreshwar Pratap Sahi at a programme held at Raj Bhawan here in the presence of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi, besides several ministers.Mr. Chauhan, a six-time MLA from Ghosi Assembly constituency in Uttar Pradesh’s Mau district, had resigned from the UP Assembly on Friday. After having won the Assembly election for the first time in 1985 on a Dalit Mazdoor Kisan Party (DMKP) symbol, he returned as an MLA again in 1991 on a Janata Dal ticket. He won the seat in 1996 and 2002 on the BJP symbol.Mr. Chauhan again won Ghosi in May 2007 on a Bahujan Samaj Party ticket but later returned to the saffron party and won the Assembly election for the sixth time in March 2017.
If you thought Gagan Narang was partying the whole night after winning a bronze medal, that’s not been the case. People did come to meet the new Olympic bronze medallist on Tuesday, but the champion says he is not yet in party mode.”Obviously, a lot of pressure is off me but there was no big party last night,” Gagan said on Tuesday.Like a true champion, Gagan said that with two more events to go in the London Olympics, he cannot get distracted.”Yes, it’s nice I have an Olympic medal now but I have to focus on my next two events. My coach Stanislas Lapidus is not going to let me relax,” added Narang as he made his way back at the ranges.In Beijing, after failing to make it to the 10m air rifle final, Narang said he had lost focus for the three-position event. But this time around, the determination seems a lot more and he is not discounting his chances of competing hard once again.For someone like Gagan, who has stayed focussed through multiple events at the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games, this is perhaps a chance to prove to the world that there is no limit to the success a strong will can achieve.Historically, among Indians at the Olympics, no athlete has won multiple medals in the same edition. Gagan has a chance to add a new chapter if he can motivate himself all over again.With coach Lapidus not allowing Gagan too many media interactions, we will wait for India’s newest Olympic medallist to speak his heart out at length.advertisement