During a Facebook live session on Monday, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope said that liquor shops in Maharashtra should not be banned if social distancing measures are observed. Tope’s statement was construed wrongly by many people on social media who thought that liquor shops are being allowed to open during the extended lockdown.
Tope, while answering a question from a journalist said, “If social distancing measures are properly maintained, there should not be any ban on liquor shops.” The journalist had asked specifically asked as to whether liquor shops will be allowed to open like a few other businesses, which have been allowed to remain open after April 20 in Maharashtra.
To be clear, Tope said, liquor shops ‘can remain open with social distancing measures’ and not that ‘they will be allowed to open during lockdown.’
Needless to say, liquor lovers, who took the statement out of context, went into frenzy. One of the users also hailed Tope as he wrote, “Tope Saheb ko 10 topo ki salami.” Another user wrote, “Rajesh Tope for Prime Minister.”