Amid all the hullabaloo created by political leaders about drug addiction in Punjab following AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi's recent remarks, former Congress MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira fired a salvo against the Badal government for keeping a meagre amount of Rs 1 crore for awareness against drug abuse in 2012-13. He also chided the government for declaring female labourers as drug addicts in the 12th Five-Year Plan document.
Talking to mediapersons here on Friday, Khaira said the government should be ashamed of terming women as drug addicts.
"The Akali leadership has raised such a hue and cry over the remarks of Rahul Gandhi that 70% of the youth in Punjab have taken to drugs even though his statement was based on a survey conducted by GND University and World Health Organisation. What these leaders have to say about these humiliating remarks against the women folks," questioned Khaira, while circulating copies of the page from the annual plan document, which read, "Punjab is a typical example of emerging drug culture in India. Not only males, but women labourers also switch to drug abuse during harvest season to increase their work power". He demanded an unconditional apology from the government on the issue.
Khaira said what the Badals talked about was an international drug racket, which traded in heroin and cocaine, but they were silent on use of poppy husk, opium and other drugs, which were easily available locally.
Drug trafficking on such a massive scale was not possible without the connivance of politicians and the police, he claimed.
"Chief minister Parkash Singh Badal has made a mischievous statement that a porous border with Pakistan is responsible for drug trafficking in Punjab. It is a ploy to pass on the onus of checking drug trade to the central government," he added.
It was unfortunate that the state government had earmarked Rs 1 crore only in the five-year plan for awareness against drugs, he said.
He also demanded deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal's resignation for the government's failure to nab abductors of Shruti Sachdeva. "He (Sukhbir) is the home minister, he should own responsibility for police failure," he said, adding that law and order situation was in total disarray.
"We are living in a jungle raj. The police have been totally politicised. The government has failed in its duty to protect its citizens," said Khaira.