New Delhi, July 18 (IANS) The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has opposed the Uttarakhand government's decision to open a liquor plant in Deyprayag, saying it should respect the sentiments of Hindi holy men and people in the state.
VHP spokesperson Vinod Bansal told reporters here: "The state government should respect the sentiments of the holy men and the people. The Uttarakhand region has faced a lot of trouble due to the liquor mafias.
"There should not be any action that hurts the religious sentiments... The government should keep in mind the sentiments of the people and take the required steps," he said.
His remarks came after the Uttarakhand government gave its approval for opening the liquor plant in Devprayag district.
Former Uttarakhand Chief MInister and senior BJP leader B.C. Khanduri has also opposed Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat's decision to permit a private distillery in Devprayag where the Bhagirathi and Alaknanda rivers meet to form the Ganga.
Calling it a "suicidal" move for Uttarakhand, he said the hill state was not created for manufacturing liquor.
Khanduri told the media: "Uttarakhand is known as Devbhumi and it should remain so."
Chief Minister Rawat has strongly defended the distillery, saying the company setting up the plant would produce only export quality liquor and that the unit is 40 km away from the confluence of the rivers.
"The distillery will help create employment opportunities and also help farmers get a better price for their produce," Rawat said.