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Liquor ban: Vijay Rupani, Ashok Gehlot exchange barbs; Gujarat CM demands unconditional apology

FE Online

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has slammed his Rajasthan counterpart Ashok Gehlot for his remarks about liquor consumption in the dry state. Rupani demanded an unconditional apology from Gehlot for hurting the sentiments of the six crore Gujarati people.

"Extremely unhappy with the statement of Ashok Gehlot, he has hurt me by saying that every household in Gujarat consumes liquor on a daily basis. I put forth the demand, on behalf of all Gujaratis, that Ashok Gehlot should take back his statement and apologise to us," he said.

He alleged that Gehlot’s remark was an attempt to divert public attention from their demands to ban liquor in Rajasthan.

"I know Congress has a problem with Mahatma Gandhi, Narendra Modi, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Gujarat. But defaming Gujarat every time is not right," he added.

Rupani’s statement comes a day after Ashok Gehlot ruled out a ban on sale and consumption of liquor in Rajasthan and raised questions on ban in Gujarat. He had said that Gujarat is among the state where liquor consumption is very high.

"I was in Gujarat for a year. There is a liquor ban since independence. But Gujarat has maximum consumption of liquor. This is the situation in Mahatma Gandhi’s state," he had said.

Meanwhile, the Gujarat Congress has jumped into the controversy to defend Gehlot. The party asked CM Rupani to take a trip across Gujarat with Alpesh Thakor, who joined the BJP recently after leaving the Congress, to assess the ground reality. It said that Thakor can show him all the illicit liquor dens. Thakor had in 2016 met the then CM Anandi Patel and submitted a list of illicit liquor dens active in her home district, Mehsana.