Election Commission of India (ECI) has denied an anti-drug crusader to campaign against drugs during assembly polls in Patti, the worst drug-affected area, till the model code of conduct remains into force.
Mukhtiar Singh has been running a drive named ‘Nasha bhajao, putt bachao’ (Root out drugs, save sons) in Patti, which is the home seat of Akali minister Adesh Partap Singh Kairon, since his son died of drugs. Mukhtiar had written a letter to the ECI seeking its permission for campaigning against the menace.
However, in its reply, the commission said, “Mukhtiar Singh cannot be permitted to campaign against drugs in open gatherings during the model code of conduct”.
Reacting on the denial, the activist said, “We considered the ECI as impartial but in this case, it has disappointed us as it adopted same approach as was adopted by the SAD-BJP government which also termed such kind of campaign as a conspiracy to malign the image of Punjab.”
He said, “By denying us from campaigning, the commission has given an impression that it is backing the illicit practice of drug smuggling along with SAD-BJP government.”
“However, no law in the world can deny a father from opposing the supply of poison (drugs) to his son,” he said, adding, “If I am wrong, the government can put me behind the bars but I will not step back.”
He also said that he wants to meet the Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a memorandum regarding drug menace in Punjab but the ruling party leaders are creating hurdles before him.
Mukhtiar, an employee in the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL), hit the headlines when he along with other social crusaders, handed over the shroud of his son as memorandum to the government seeking measures against drugs.