Need alcohol for treatment : Bhopal Minister
Madhya Pradesh minister Gopal Singh on Friday said that there should be no ban on liquor since no can force anybody to consume alcohol. He said that liquor was not being forced on anyone and those buying it were doing so voluntarily.

Making a bizarre statement, Gopal Singh said that in democracy, a man is free and has the right to eat and drink whatever he likes. "We cannot pose any ban for drinking," Gopal Singh said.

Gopal Singh quoted his friend as saying: "We do not remain well until we take a peg. If we don't drink a little, there is restlessness during the night and we have problems throughout the day."

"He [his friends] drinks only one peg at night, sleep well and remains active throughout the day," Gopal Singh said.

"Some people also need liquor in their ailment. There are many who say that they take one peg liquor on the doctor's advice to stay healthy. We are not in favour of putting prohibitions on anyone's eating or drinking habits", Gopal Singh added.

Recently, the Kamal Nath-led government made a provision to allow liquor contractors to open sub-shops in urban and rural areas in the state. Government officials claimed that the move was aimed at increasing revenue for the state hit by a cash crunch.

As per the order, existing liquor shop owners, after paying licence fee, can open a sub-shop five kilometres away in urban areas and 10 kilometres away in rural areas.

While commenting on Kamal Nath's initiative, Gopal Singh said: "Let me tell you that the Kamal Nath government has taken the decision to open a sub-shop for the purpose of stopping the illegal sale of liquor and to compensate the revenue loss. However, the BJP is strongly opposed to this and warns to withdraw the decision from the government.

Criticising former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan over his letter to Kamal Nath on Friday, he said, "If he was so worried he should have implemented liquor ban in the state during his tenure."

Shivraj Singh Chouhan had on Friday wrote a letter to CM Kamal Nath claiming the move was a "New Year gift to the liquor mafia in the state". He slammed the Kamal Nath-led state government and said that its decision to allow liquor license holders to open sub-shops by paying extra will turn the state into "Madira Pradesh".