Kasaragod: Alcoholics no longer prefer to be anonymous and have decided to raise their issues with the government.
In what could be the first complaint submitted to the government as part of Nava Kerala Sadas, Vishwambaran Karicheri of Kasaragod submitted a complaint to the Kerala State Beverages Corporation or Bevco accusing it of selling spurious liquor.
Vishwambaran runs a tyre retreading shop. In a five-line complaint written in his own handwriting and language, he said the liquor sold by Kerala's Bevco is hardly intoxicating compared with Goan liquor, though Kerala is selling alcoholic beverages at a much higher price.
"Dear Chief Minister,
No kick for (Kerala) liquor. Goan quarter (250ml) sold for Rs 150 sends me into a stupor. But Kerala liquor for Rs 400 (500ml) has no kick. Do something," he wrote and signed off with his name and phone number.
He walked into the Bevco outlet in Kasaragod town's Bhandari Road and gave his petition to the store in-charge Sreekumar, who assured Vishwambaran that the petition would be forwarded to the higher-up of the department.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and his 20 ministers are launching their 37-day Nava Kerala Sadas campaign from Manjeshwar in Kasaragod on Saturday. They will be touring all 140 assembly constituencies, accepting complaints from the people, and telling them about the government's achievements.
The Nava Kerala Sadas in Manjeshwar constituency is being held at Paivalike on Saturday. Vishwambaran said he is not going to the Sadas and that's why he came to the Bevco outlet, which he is familiar with.
Kerala collects one of the highest excise duties on alcohol in the country. "We are the ones taking care of the government. We, as in, the liquor and lottery buyers. I have been buying lottery tickets since I was 18 years old. Now I am 51 years old," he said. "So at least we need the bang for the buck we are spending on liquor," he said.