Trivandrum: Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has asked all former drinkers who are left high and dry following the implementation of total prohibition in Kerala, to take the ice-bucket challenge daily to support the ice manufacturing industry that is in the doldrums following the change in liquor policy of his government.
Speaking to the press after meeting the representatives of the Federation of Ice Factory Employees, he said that the government has the moral obligation to protect the industry despite the closure of bars across the state. The government also might decide to appoint a brand ambassador for the programme, and is planning to romp in popular drunkard Ayyappa Baiju for the same. He said that he had the implicit approval of his alliance partners Muslim League and Kerala congress for the decision.
In addition to this, CM confirmed that there are plans to promote export of ice to neighbouring states like Mahe, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, which is seeing a spurt in volumes at their bars and wine shops, as Keralites are flocking there to have their daily quota. This is an opportunity that the ice manufacturing industry should seize – he said.
In a related incident, the pickle manufacturing industry, which is another major loser after the prohibition policy has been implemented, is planning a state wide dawn to dusk hartal to protest against the lack of support from the government towards them. The opposition CPIM has come in support of pickle’s and is planning to ask their cadres to take up the “Pickle Bucket Challenge” across the state in solidarity with pickle industry. When contacted by the correspondent, the state secretariat of the CPIM confirmed that this mode of protest is on, and since it’s a common man’s industry, none of the leaders and only the cadres will be part of this unique protest.
Hospitals and fire engines across the state have been put on standby to brace the after-effects of this protest.
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