Anna Hazare warns of indefinite strike to oppose Maharashtra’s wine policy

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He had written to CM Uddhav on Feb. 3

Social activist Anna Hazare has threatened to go on indefinite hunger strike against the Maharashtra government’s decision to allow sale of wine at general stores and super markets.

Mr. Hazare had sent a letter on February 3 to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray opposing government’s wine policy. In a reminder that was sent on Saturday, he said that since no response was given to him and if the decision is not withdrawn, he will sit on a indefinite hunger strike from February 14 at his home-village Ralegan Siddhi in Ahmadnagar district.

“If the government does not roll back the decision to sell wine considering the sentiments of the workers and the people across the state then we have to agitate… I will have to start indefinite hunger strike from February 14 at Yadav Baba temple at Ralegan Siddhi,” he wrote in a letter to Mr. Thackeray. Mr. Hazare, who was part of the India Against Corruption movement against the then United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, has been silent for many years now. A number of questions have been raised against him pointing out his silence ever since a central government led by Narendra Modi came to power.

While alleging that the government’s decision is aimed only at increasing its revenue and the benefit of wine companies, Mr. Hazare claimed that the decision will lead to youngsters becoming addicted. A meeting of workers will also be organised at Ralegan Siddhi where the course of agitation against the decision will be decided.

Two weeks ago, Maharashtra government declared its wine policy whereby supermarkets and general stores with area more than 1000 square feet are allowed to sell wine. Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has also opposed the decision claiming it will make Maharashtra as Madya (alcohol) rashtra. The government has claimed that the decision will help farmers as well as wine companies.

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