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Anna Hazare suspends proposed indefinite fast against Maharashtra govt’s wine sale policy

Social activist Anna Hazare today announced his decision to suspend the proposed indefinite fast from Monday in protest against the Maharashtra government’s decision to allow the sale of wine in supermarkets and walk-in stores across the state.

Mr Hazare’s decision comes in the wake of his meeting with Principal Secretary (Excise) Walsa Nair Singh who had travelled to his village Ralegan Siddhi in Ahmednagar district on Saturday and assured him that the government would not go ahead with the policy before holding consultations with citizens.

Mr Hazare has urged the government to get citizens’ response within three months.

On January 27, the Maharashtra cabinet passed a proposal to allow the sale of wine at supermarkets and walk-in stores with an area over 1,000 sq ft. The decision invited sharp criticism from Mr Hazare who wrote to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray urging the government to withdraw the move and threatened to go on a fast from February 14.

The government then deputed officials for discussions and assured the Social activist that it did not intend to promote liquor in the state. The villagers also advised the activist not to proceed on the indefinite fast considering his advanced age.

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