The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Madhya Pradesh Cabinet has decided to allow shops selling country liquor in big villages of the state to also sell Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL).
A decision to this effect was taken by the state Cabinet at a meeting here yesterday under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, official sources said.
The decision was strongly criticised by state Congress unit spokesman Pankaj Chaturvedi, who alleged that the decision appeared to have been taken in haste to oblige the liquor lobby which had helped the BJP during the recent Assembly elections.
State Excise Minister Jayant Mallaiya defended the decision on the ground that new shops were not being opened but only existing country liquor shops would be allowed to sell Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL).
Incidentally, Chouhan, soon after taking office for the third time in the state, had announced that no new liquor shops would be opened in the state.