The CPM led Communist government of Kerala, which used the Bar Scandal to topple the UDF government, is now facing a similar fate after being accused of a brewery scandal, reports Manorama.
The decision to permit three more breweries and distilleries in the state, especially the fictitious “Shree Chitra Distilleries” which is reported to have acquired a permit to go ahead without the required prerequisites has hinted at the possibility of a scandal.
The opposition Congress has alleged that the current Pinarayi Vijayan led government had interpreted the rule favouring the liquor lobby in allotment of distilleries and breweries.
“Despite the orders of the deputy secretary and additional chief secretary that sanction should not be granted to Sree Chakra Distilleries, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan overruled it,” said opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala. He had also urged the Governor P Sadasivam to initiate vigilance enquiry against Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Excise Minister T P Ramakrishnan.
However, the Excise Minister had replied to the opposition leader saying that the move is to reduce the dependence of Kerala on another state for its liquor requirements.
All governments in Kerala since the 1999 government led by EK Nayanar had followed the precedence of not allotting permits to start new breweries or distilleries in the state, and no permit has been issued since then.
The current government had dishonoured its party led governments' position back in 1999. The LDF government, however, claims the move as its strategy to mop up more revenue and create more jobs in the state. The surprising fact is that even the party cadre of the ruling coalition of CPM and CPI are unaware about the whole deal.
However, the supreme court had in 2013 (the State of Kerala vs Kandath Distilleries) ruled that such decisions lie at the discretion of the state government, and the court would not interfere or probe into the merits of such decisions.
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