Jaipur, Nov 2: Former Congress legislator, Gurcharan Chabbra, who has been on fast unto death demanding liquor ban in the state, since Oct 2 this year, is in a critical condition at Jaipur’s Sawai Man Singh hospital.
Chabbra went on hunger strike demanding total prohibition of liquor in the state as an assurance from the government was given to him last year in May, when he had sat on a similar 45-day fast. He is also demanding strengthening of the Lokayukta. Health minister Rajendra Singh Rathore had given him the assurance last year.
Doctors at the SMS hospital today said his condition is critical as his blood pressure has fallen drastically, resulting in a sort of coma.
Social activists supporting Chabbra today said nobody from the government side has even come and seen him or enquired about him. He had started his fast at Shahid Minar from where he was shifted to SMS hospital after his condition deteriorated.
In an interview to Rajasthan Post last month, soon after he went on fast, Chabbra, on being asked about how proactive was the government towards his demand, had said: “The current Vasundhara Raje government had promised good governance. Instead of good governance, incidents of corruption surface frequently with action against the guilty. Similarly where there is no ban on liquor, crime like murder, rape, domestic violence, suicides, prostitution become common. The present government should take sincere steps in this direction or else state would have to impose ban on liquor under public pressure. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi says Hindustan is a country of youth, but instead our youth is becoming addicted to liquor, drugs etc. On 1st April 2014, I had started hunger strike on same demands. After 45 days I broke my stir after we had a written treaty with the Raje government, which contains signature of two cabinet ministers, finance secretary and excise commissioner in which Raje gave a nod to impose ban on liquor in the state. But unfortunately no action has been taken up in this direction till date by the government.”
On a question about revenue losses from liquor ban , Chabbra had claimed : “Gujarat has been practising legal restriction on manufacture, sale and consumption of liquor for years. Although Gujarat government has no income from excise, the BJP leaders strongly claim Gujarat as number one state and showcases it as Gujarat model of development. If Gujarat can become the number one state with a restriction on liquor, so why not Rajasthan?”
( The full interview is available on the rajasthanpost.com website under the heading : “Aping Gujarat model of development, why not liquor ban the same way” under the Voices column)