AIZAWL, March 31 - Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla today defended ruling Congress legislator K Lalrinthanga on the latter�s statement in the State Assembly that he knew some pastors who regularly took liquor.
�He (the MLA) is son of a pastor and himself a church elder. When he said he knew some pastors who took moderate drinks, he knew it. Why were they (church leaders) angry about that? If there are such pastors, they should pray for them, instead of defending them,� he said during the weekly political session at the Congress Bhavan here today.
The Mizoram Kohhran Hruaitute Committee (MKHC), a conglomeration of various church leaders, strongly reacted to this and similar remarks made during the discussion of a private resolution by MNF member Er Lalrinawma that sought repeal of the Mizoram Liquor (Prohibition & Control) Act and enforce total ban.
The MLPC Act replaced the 17-year-old prohibition and allowed opening of wine shops in Mizoram from March 2015.
�The remarks made by our legislators during the discussion on a private resolution that showed complete disregard for the Bible, the church and the priests, have hurt the church leaders and the church members,� MKHC said in a statement on Thursday.
The remarks made were: �Jesus approved liquor�, �one should take alcohol to deliver a good sermon�, �there are some pastors who take some drinks regularly�, �when Jesus multiplied five loaves and two fishes, there were 12 baskets of leftovers, but when he transformed water into wine, there was no leftover�.
Meanwhile, Home Minister R Lalzirliana, who also holds the Excise & Narcotics portfolios, said the State government has earned Rs 126,23,43,185 from liquor since the opening of wine shops in Mizoram on March 16, 2015.
As many as 26,04,204 cases of liquor have been imported into Mizoram under the liquor law, he added.