TDP’s ‘spirited’ poll pledge for Andhra’s booze lovers: Quality liquor at reduced prices

PTI, Apr 7, 2024, 9:16 AM IST

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”We will reduce prices of commodities,” may be the standard refrain of every political party fighting an election. However, in Andhra Pradesh, opposition TDP is wooing the avid booze lover with the promise of better quality spirit at reduced prices, if voted to power.

Simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections are scheduled in the southern state on May 13.

Telugu Desam Party (TDP) the main opposition, is also accusing the YSRCP Government of setting excessively high prices that do not align with the quality of the liquor.

TDP supremo N Chandrababu Naidu consistently emphasizes, among others, the issue during his campaign, alleging that the state has been supplying poor quality liquor while profiting immensely from ‘inflated’ prices, running to thousands of crores of rupees.

According to reports, the state government netted nearly Rs 24,000 crore through excise revenue in 2022-23 against over Rs 17,000 crore in 2019-20. YS Jagan Mohan Reddy-led YSRCP was voted to power in 2019.

Liquor is sold through government-owned outlets in the state.

Naidu also lashes out at the Chief Minister saying he had gone back on his poll promise of banning liquor if voted to power in 2019 assembly elections.

”Prices of all commodities have gone up exorbitantly including liquor rates which are flying. Our younger brothers cheer when I mention liquor. They want the prices of liquor to be reduced. It is Jagan Mohan Reddy who increased the price from Rs 60 (for a nip) to Rs 200 and pocketed Rs 100,” he alleged, amid cheers from the crowd.

Jagan is spoiling the health of our people by supplying ”cheap quality” booze, he alleges in his poll-related engagements.

”I am telling you, after 40 days (of TDP forming the government), not only for quality liquor, we take the responsibility for reducing prices,” he promised at a recent rally in Kuppam from where he is contesting the polls.

Similarly, Pawan Kalyan founder of Janasena, an NDA constituent along with TDP asked if the state should implement total prohibition or not. When the public responded in the negative he said health problems would arise if people consume the liquor supplied by the YRCP government.

Jagan has ‘looted’ Rs 40,000 crore through liquor sales, the actor-politician alleged in a meeting at Pithapuram from where is testing his political career.

The Janasena leader questioned why digital payments are not accepted in liquor shops for all transactions across the country.

”Where is the money going….about 74 per cent of the total liquor sold is being supplied by just 16 companies,” he charged, adding some of them are owned by YSRCP leaders.

He claimed that a national health survey said that people of the state have suffered the most due to liver diseases because of ”poor quality alcohol.” Andhra Pradesh BJP chief D Purandeswari had earlier demanded an inquiry into the liquor business in the state.

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