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Church wants LDF to clarify if it will reopen closed bars

Church wants LDF to clarify if it will reopen closed bars

Thiruvananthapuram: The church Thursday wanted CPI-M, heading the LDF, to make it clear if it will reopen closed bars if voted to power in the May 16 Assembly polls and also wondered why it was "secretive" about its liquor policy.

Church representatives maintained that the Left Front policy of abstinence was impractical as it would be difficult to implement since it was an individual's decision. Besides, the government cannot make any law on that.

The church also said it seems the Left Front is playing into the hands of the liquor mafia as they are not coming out clear on the policy.

Kerala Catholic Bishops Conference, an association of three rites of Catholic church-- Latin, Syro Malabar and Syro Malankara-- said the Left Front should spell out its policy on liquor as early as possible.

"They are stating that they are not for prohibition, but abstinence. But abstinence is not a government policy. It is to be made by each individual. The prerogative of the government is to make laws and implement them and control the evil," KCBC Spokesperson Father Varghese Vallikkatt told news agency PTI.

The Catholic church wants an 'effective control' over liquor and not abstinence, he said.

Contending out that abstinence is a personal decision, he said it can be encouraged, but there was no legality to it.

"LDF should make it clear whether they will liberalise the present liquor policy and whether they will open closed bars. The people need to know if they will effectively regulate availability of liquor or they will liberalise it...Why is the Left Front keeping their policy very secretive?," he said.

"Is it because they want to favour the liquor mafia that they don't want to clarify the liquor policy?" he asked.

Meanwhile, the Syro Malabar Catholic Church said it was in favour of total prohibition.

Father Jimmy Poochakkatt, Syro Malabar catholic church's official spokesperson, said that they "always favour a total ban. "That should be so. The steps taken by UDF government in this regard are welcome."

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