This decision was taken by the state Cabinet at a meeting on Monday under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

The decision was strongly criticized by state Congress unit spokesman Pankaj Chaturvedi, who alleged that the decision appeared to have been taken in haste to oblige the liquor lobby which had helped the BJP during the recent Assembly elections.

Madhya Pradesh Excise Minister Jayant Mallaiya defended the decision on the ground that new shops were not being opened but only the existing country liquor shops would be allowed to sell Indian Made Foreign Liquor.

(Agencies)

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