The BJP is more keen on promoting alcohol than the Congress party in the state, women's rights activists alleged here Wednesday, criticising the ruling party's decision to allow more alcohol vendors during the 43rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI).
Bailancho Saad, a leading women's rights group, would be protesting the government's "spirited" move in close proximity of the film festival venue Sunday, in defiance of a "no-assembly law" laid down by the police.
"We thought the Congress government alone was supportive of the sale of alcohol, but the BJP seems to love it even more. They have even made alcohol available from 9 a.m. instead of 11 a.m., which was the time set for earlier film festivals," Bailancho Saad convenor Sabina Martins said.
Even the Children's Park near the festival venue has not been spared from alcohol stalls, she said.
"Liquor outlets are in Children's Park (Mahaveer Park) where the Kingfisher village is set up and an INOX courtyard, besides outside art gallery and in the football stadium. At this rate, alcohol would be available in the secretariat complex also," Martins said.
Martins also said that a representation had been made to the state excise commissioner to cancel temporary liquor licenses.
"IFFI is a film festival, not an alcohol festival. Consumption of alcohol is not a prerequisite to watching a movie. No other film festival in India ensures supply of alcohol to viewers to enjoy films," Martins said.
A spokesperson for the festival said the Directorate of Film Festivals had no stake in the allotment of temporary licences for alcohol vendors and that "it has been going on since the festival moved to Goa in 2004. There is nothing unusual about this".
The 10−day film festival began Nov 20.