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BJP denounces DMK’s “double standards” over liquor outlets, holds protest

BJP Tamil Nadu unit president L Murugan said that Stalin had protested against the AIADMK government's decision to reopen TASMAC outlets during the pandemic last year and added that he had reversed his stand after assuming power this year.

Slamming the DMK government for its decision to reopen state-run liquor outlets from June 14 in 27 districts, the state unit of the BJP on Sunday staged protest in Chennai and in other parts of Tamil Nadu.

BJP Tamil Nadu unit president L Murugan, who led a protest in front of the party state headquarters “Kamalalayam” in Chennai said DMK president M K Stalin had last year strongly opposed reopening of liquor shops in Tamil Nadu during the first COVID-19 wave.

Stalin, who is now Chief Minister, had even held a protest against the AIADMK government and was then completely against the move to reopen liquor stores, Murugan said. However, after assuming power following a win in the April 6 Assembly polls, the stand has been reversed, he added.

“This protest is to explain to the people the double standards of the DMK on the issue of reopening of liquor shops. We demand the DMK to stick to its position and not reopen the liqour shops (from Monday).”

Similar protest was held in places including Coimbatore. The government had announced reopening of liquor stores in 27 districts including Chennai and shops in the rest of 11 districts would not resume operations in view of the relatively more number of virus cases in such regions.

Addressing reporters in Salem, Electricity Minister V Senthil Balaji said in the BJP-ruled Karnataka liquor outlets were already open and wondered if the saffron party would stage protest against the increase in fuel prices.

Medical and Family Welfare Minister Ma Subramanian said liquor stores were closed down by Chief Minister Stalin as soon as he came to power and when the virus cases were on the rise. Now, the shops are set to be opened in 27 districts where virus cases has seen a significant decline, he said.

Stalin assumed office as Chief Minister on May 7 and lockdown was clamped from May 10 onwards and liquor stores were also closed down besides others.

Subramanian sarcastically said liquor stores are open in Puducherry union territory region, where the BJP is set to play a major role in the government and “let them show black flags there and then come here (Tamil Nadu).”

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