Drinking wine injurious to health but Maha govt’s decision in interest of farmers: state health minister

Jalna, Jan 31 (PTI) Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Monday defended the state government’s decision to allow the sale of wine in supermarkets and walk-in stores, saying though drinking wine is injurious to health this decision was taken in the interest of farmers.

Speaking to reporters, Tope also said that cannabis cannot be compared with wine.

After the state cabinet gave a nod to the sale of wine in supermarkets and walk-in stores last week, BJP MP Pratap Patil Chikhilar said that the state government should also permit farmers for the cultivation of cannabis.

“Though drinking wine is injurious to health, the decision (taken by the state government) is in the interest of farmers. Nobody is invited to take wine. This decision is good for the economic interest of farmers,” Tope said.

Without taking any name, Tope said that some people are in favour of allowing the sale of ganja, but wine cannot be compared with cannabis.

Earlier in the day, Tope’s cabinet colleague and Food and Civil Supply Minister Chhagan Bhujbal also supported the wine sale policy, saying it is in the interest of farmers and slammed the BJP for opposing this decision.

Tope demanded that the Union government allot more funds for rural health facilities in Maharashtra.

He also sought the Centre’s permission for opening medical colleges and funds for the purpose.

Appealing to people to get inoculated, Tope said that a study conducted by the WHO has shown that the vaccine not only protects against COVID-19 but also against 21 other diseases.