In a pioneering step to curb tobacco consumption, the Rajasthan government has introduced vendor licensing for the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products. A circular of the Department of Local Self-Government has laid down rules for licensing and prohibited tobacco sale outlets from selling non-tobacco products.Non-tobacco itemsThe State government has made procuring of licence mandatory for sale of tobacco products within the boundaries of urban local bodies across the State. Besides, the licensed vendors will not be allowed to sell kid-friendly non-tobacco items at the shops. These items may include toffee, candy, biscuits, wafers and cold drinks.The circular, issued on January 4, has stated that the failure to comply with the new provisions would attract strict action under the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003.
Maharashtra Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil on Monday landed in controversy after a video captured him yelling at a group of flood victims voicing their grievances. The Opposition was quick to point out his ‘insensitivity’ and asked whether the State was being run by General Dyer, infamous for ordering the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in the British-ruled India in 1919. Addressing a gathering in Kolhapur, Mr. Patil, who is also guardian minister of Kolhapur and Pune, is seen in the video asking people to be patient and have faith in the administration’s work. Soon after, he can be seen losing his cool and raising his voice at a complainant. This latest incident adds to the list of BJP ministers who have landed in trouble while carrying out flood relief work. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis himself has been criticised for continuing his political campaign. Last week, Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan was seen taking a selfie-video on a boat in a flooded area. Relief and Rehabilitation minister Subhash Deshmukh has been accused of being busy in party programmes in Pune while Minister of State Sadabhau Khot is alleged to have doctored a video showing him rescuing a victim.In the video which went viral on Monday, Mr. Patil is heard yelling at the crowd, “You need to be patient and systematic. The officials have been working for 24 hours with no sleep, and still, you want to complain?” He also gestures in anger at the crowd saying, “shut up”. State unit Congress chief Balasaheb Thorat slammed the minister. “People will naturally get angry if the guardian minister, government machinery does not do its duty on time.” The NCP wanted to know whether Maharashtra is witnessing the rule of General Dyer. “On the one hand the minister is yelling at flood victims and on the other district administration is imposing prohibitory orders. This is nothing but dictatorial behaviour,” said party national spokesperson Nawab Malik.