TDP General Secretary Nara Lokesh has blamed Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy-led government for the rising number of deaths due to the consumption of alcohol-based hand sanitisers.
Mocking at the government's policy, Lokesh wondered whether the ruling party leaders would claim these deaths also to be part of their plan to "prepare the people for implementation of total prohibition eventually".
He pointed out how the government had boasted of deliberately causing a "steep rise in liquor prices" and described it as a step towards "discouraging" addicted persons from taking alcohol.
The former Minister took to Twitter to slam Chief Minister Reddy for bringing in such an "anti-people liquor policy" that was forcing people to drink sanitiser in place of liquor all over the State.
"The YSRCP policy became responsible for the death of nearly 30 persons due to sanitiser consumption in Andhra Pradesh till date," Lokesh said.
Lokesh termed the latest incident where four persons died after taking sanitiser in Tirupati as "painful".
"The government had become thick-skinned and not showing any concern to save the lives of the people. All the deaths caused due to absurd liquor policy should be considered as 'murders' committed by the government itself," he said.
Accusing the YSRCP's own liquor brands of causing havoc with the lives of people, Lokesh said the Government opened its own shops to sell such poor quality brands. "A parallel liquor mafia had taken complete control of the liquor business in the State. There should be a judicial enquiry into the illegal activities of this mafia which was triggering a big human tragedy in the state."
Recalling the death of over 10 persons at Kurichedu in Prakasam district, he said: "Lack of liquor shops nearby and high prices of available brands were causing them to drink locally available cheap sanitisers." (ANI)