26/11/2015 2:25 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Nitish Kumar To Ban Alcohol In Bihar By April 2016

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar greets supporters after victory in Bihar state elections in Patna, India, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015. The alliance led by Kumar defeated Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling Hindu nationalist party in a crucial election in one of India's most populous states.(AP Photo/Aftab Alam Siddiqui)

NEW DELHI -- Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has announced a ban on alcohol from April 2016 in the state.

While campaigning for the state election, earlier this year, Kumar promised women that he would ban alcohol if his party came into power again. They confronted him at a rally about the damage caused by excessive alcohol consumption in the rural hinterlands.

Kumar's Janata Dal (United) joined forces with Lalu Prasad Yadav's Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress Party to form the Grand Alliance, which defeated the Bharatiya Janata Party in a hard fought electoral battle.

The alcohol ban is Kumar's first big announcement since he took office on November 22.

While revealing his prohibition plan in Patna today, Kumar recalled a failed attempt to impose such a ban in 1977, and vowed to work out an effective implementation plan over the next few months.

"I know people will say that even after banning liquor it will be sold illegally. If it happens, we will deal with that strongly," he said, ANI reported.

The chief minister also said that he wasn't sure how his government would bridge the shortfall in tax revenues worth thousands of crores from the sale of alcohol, but he intended to keep his election promise to the women.

"Women in the state started an anti-liquor campaign, I really appreciated that," he said.

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