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Beyond Bihar: Nitish in Varanasi today, may push for liquor ban in UP

Nitish seems to have chosen the venue to send a symbolic message to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who represents the Varanasi Lok Sabha seat.

nitish kumar, bihar government, bihar liquor ban, liquor ban, liquor ban in Uttar pradesh, bihar CM, uttarakhand government, uttar pradesh liquor ban, indian express news, liquor ban news Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. (Express Photo by Prashant Ravi)

In his upcoming public address at Pindra near Varanasi town on Thursday, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is likely to put pressure on the Uttar Pradesh government to enforce liquor ban in the state.

Nitish seems to have chosen the venue to send a symbolic message to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who represents the Varanasi Lok Sabha seat.

He would be banking on a sizeable crowd that is expected to travel to Pindra from the adjoining Bihar districts of Kaimur and Rohtas.

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Sources said that over 200 buses and other vehicles had been arranged for people from Kaimur and Rohtas to travel to Nitish’s rally at Pindra, an assembly segment represented by Congress, JD(U)’s ally in Bihar. Several senior JD (U) leaders, including Rajya Sabha MP RCP Singh are camping in Rohtas and Kaimur, while other leaders are in Varanasi and the adjoining Bihar districts. “It is the first big meeting of our national president in UP. We have to ensure it turns out to be a grand success,” said a JD (U) leader.

JD (U) Rajya Sabha MP Ali Anwar, who is among the party leaders camping in Varanasi, told The Indian Express: “We could have chosen Varanasi town, but since the President is visiting the town, we chose this rural area in Varanasi’s backyard. Good challenges are always thrown from villages”.

Replying to a question on the issues Nitish was likely to focus on in his speech, JD (U) spokesperson Neeraj Kumar said: “He would obviously reiterate the demand for a liquor ban at the national level. He has got invitations from social outfits in many states. We are projecting liquor ban as an instrument of social revolution. He could also talk about the economic disparity between eastern and western UP. He may attack both SP and BSP that failed to make development an agenda as he did in Bihar”.

Nitish is scheduled to travel to Lucknow on May 15, where he would be felicitated by a women’s group for implementing prohibition in Bihar.

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He is scheduled to visit Rajasthan and Odisha in June. The JD(U) chief has already travelled to Kerala and Jharkhand and played up the demand for prohibition.

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First published on: 12-05-2016 at 02:46 IST
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