[Correction & Apology: Earlier report of ours incorrectly mentioned that it was a BJP leader’s event. Nitin Agarwal is currently Samajwadi Party (SP) MLA and his father, Naresh Agarwal, has defected to BJP in 2018. We apologise to our community members for the inadvertent error.]
At an event organised by Nitin Agarwal, Samajwadi Party MLA & son of BJP leader Naresh Agarwal, liquor bottles packed inside food packets were distributed in a temple on January 7, Monday, in Hardoi, Uttar Pradesh. Naresh Agarwal was also present at the event.
The event was a sammelan or conference arranged at the Shravan Devi Temple for the Pasi community. Reportedly, the police have taken cognizance of the matter after videos of children with liquor in their food packets went viral on social media.
In a video, Nitin Agarwal is announcing from the dais that the village headman, to whom the food packets will be handed over, will in return distribute them to those accompanying him.
“All the pradhans must go to the place where food is being served… they must take the packets and distribute it among the villagers,” Agarwal was heard saying on the microphone.
Following that, one of the people who had got a food packet claimed that there was a liquor bottle inside it. These packets have also been distributed among minors, with one of them claiming that he had come to attend the sammelan with his father and that the packet was given to him by Nitin Agarwal.
The act was criticised by Hardoi BJP MP Anshul Verma who said that he will ensure that the issue is raised with the leaders of the party. “I will call it an unfortunate incident because it (liquor bottles) was given to small children whom we had given pens and copies earlier,” he said.
He further said that he will raise the issue with the top leadership and also ensure that he writes a letter to the excise department demanding how such a large-scale distribution of alcohol went unnoticed by the administration.
Additionally, the state Congress also criticised the BJP, the UP Congress tweeted, “UP Congress said, “Sharing bottles of wine in the front of the temple, the BJP leader proved that religion, faith, temple, culture are just means to rob votes.”
It is disheartening to see how those who are supposed to run the country and make it free from corruption, are themselves the major reason behind the corruption in the country. It is not that one has to be ashamed of the consumption of liquor, or that the consumption of liquor is wrong. But distributing liquor at a formal gathering, to adults and minors alike, is indeed shameful. The Logical Indian urges authorities to take strict action against the accused.