May 27, 2024

BENGALURU EXPRESS

Truth Triumphs

Neera Diaries Leads to Spirited Discussions in the Council

Bengaluru, Feb 23: Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar’s comments on Neera, a sap extract from coconut inflorescence, became fodder for light banter and spirited discussion in the Legislative Council on Friday.

DCM’s comment “I had Neera 30-35 years ago and it tasted like juice. I did not feel any intoxication” triggered a barrage of repartee in the House with many members jumping into the discussion. Congress MLC B K Hariprasad, during the Question Hour, had raised the issue of many people going out of business due to arrack ban in the State and had sought help from the government.

When Opposition Leader in the Council, Kota Srinivasa Poojary, jumped into the discussion, the Deputy Chief Minister asked him in lighter vein if he ever had Neera. To which Mr Poojary quipped, “The idea of drinking Neera did come to my mind but I was not very confident if I would be able to handle it! I would have mustered the courage if I was as strong as you physically!”

Mr Hariprasad jumped into the discussion saying, “Mr Poojary doesn’t drink but he makes others drink.” BJP MLC Tejaswini told the DCM, “You can write Neera Diaries about your experience with Neera.”

The discussion resulted in a wave of laughter in the House. The serious discussion on Neera continued post the banter. Participating in the discussion, Mr Poojary said, “The community which was relying on the arrack business is in dire condition. ‘Shendhi’ was banned during Veerendra Patil’s time and arrack was banned during Yediyurappa’s time. Now Neera has come. The government must allow setting up of Neera outlets under the MSIL.”

Replying to queries, Mr Shivakumar said, “Poojary and Ravikumar are thinking about their community. Vendors sell tender coconut for Rs 20 on the street, there is a potential to bottle it and sell it at a higher price. You are asking for organised sale of Neera in MSIL outlets. The speech that the former member of the Council, Mr M C Nanaiah, changed the whole liquor business in Karnataka. Many liquor barons were affected due to this. The issue that you have raised may lead to similar things.”

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