India’s State of Bihar: Bans All Alcohol Sales; Is This Being Done to Appease Muslim Voters?

PATNA, India (AP) — The Indian state of Bihar completely banned the sale of alcohol on Tuesday, including at bars and hotel across the state.

The state government had announced an end to sales of locally brewed liquor last week and said a complete ban would be phased over six months.

However Nitish Kumar, the state’s top elected official, said the ban on local liquor was so popular that the government was ready to bar all sales of alcohol. He said that feedback from across the state showed that the government’s move had widespread support.

“I feel this is the right time for social change in Bihar,” Kumar told reporters.

Liquor manufacturers can continue making their products as long as they are sold in other parts of the country. Three other states have complete alcohol bans, Gujarat, Nagaland and Manipur.

Prohibition was one of Kumar’s main campaign promises to women voters in state elections last year.

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