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HindustanTimes Sat,19 Apr 2014

Sukhbir Badal's googly: 70% Cong leaders on drugs

Ravinder Vasudeva , Hindustan Times  Patiala, October 15, 2012
First Published: 19:41 IST(15/10/2012) | Last Updated: 00:30 IST(16/10/2012)

A day after Congress MP Ravneet Singh Bittu alleged that more than 70% youth of Badal village were hooked to drugs, Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Monday bounced the figure back at Congress leaders.

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"Actually, more than 70% of Congress leaders are hooked to drugs," he said. Sukhbir was here to attend the SARAS mela being organised by the rural development ministry, Punjab.

Lashing out at Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi and state party leaders for denigrating the youth of Punjab by dubbing them addicts, the deputy CM said the "ill-informed" Rahul should have gone through the report in question as it pertained to "the study of a sample of 600 addicts of Amritsar district, of which 73% were in the age group of 16 to 35 years."

Sukhbir said the study which leader of the opposition Sunil Jakhar was quoting must have been conducted on the Youth Congress cadre as a majority of them were high on drugs.

"More than 50% of the national recovery of drugs was made by the Punjab Police. That shows the commitment and efforts made by our government," he added.

He said the Congress leaders were giving baseless statements to cover up their failures. "Look at the recent poll results. The Congress 'species' is on the verge of extinction in India. The loss of Uttarakhand chief minister Vijay Bahuguna's son Saket Bahuguna in the Tehri Lok Sabha byelection is just a trailer for the parliamentary elections for the ruling UPA," Sukhbir said.

When asked about slow progress of the probe into the Shruti kidnapping case, Sukhbir said a team led by the inspector general of police (IGP), Bathinda, was following important leads, which could not be disclosed at this moment.

He said the Congress cadre was totally demoralised and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) was flooded with requests from Congress leaders, who were making a beeline to join the SAD.

Later, Sukhbir inducted Ajay Thapar, a former confidant of Congress leader and union minister of state for external affairs Preneet Kaur, into the SAD.

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