Hyderabad: Sangareddy MLA Jagga Reddy wondered why Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao accorded permission to open wine shops but not mosques during the holy month of Ramadan.
The Sangareddy MLA, on Friday, said that even though queues at the wine shops are long and people were not following the social distancing norm, the Chief Minister is still allowing sale of liquor, giving priority to alcohol during Ramadan.
“Thousands of people are queueing in front of wine shops in Telangana. Are they immune to coronavirus? If you open the mosques also, there will be 100-500 people visiting each mosque,” he said.
On May 5, Telangana CM K. Chandrashekar Rao had announced that liquor shops in all the zones, barring 15 shops in containment zones, will open from May 6 onwards. However, bars and pubs will remain closed.
Besides this, KCR also announced a hike in the price of liquor from 11 per cent to 16 per cent, depending on brands. Liquor shops will remain open from 10 am to 6 pm in all zones (including red zone, barring 15 shops in containment zones).
However, the wine shops will not deliver liquor to consumers who don’t wear masks. Physical distancing and wearing of masks was made mandatory at wine shops, he said.
The CM warned cancellation of liquor shop licences immediately if they fail to ensure adequate social distancing near the shops. “No shops, no liquor,” he warned.
Telangana is the latest to join the list of states, including neighbouring Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, which allowed sale of liquor that remained out of bounds for tipplers during the first two phases of lockdown.
The state earns around Rs 20,000 crore annually from liquor, including the auction of licence fee.