The Punjab Congress on Monday challenged chief minister Parkash Singh Badal to refute the data on drug addicts provided by his own government under the Right to Information (RTI) Act and alleged that the “figures reinforce the charge that the Badals distribute drugs during elections.”
The party put into the public domain the data on the drug menace in Punjab since 2007. According to the latest information provided by the state government, about 6.22 lakh patients have approached deaddiction centres, a release by the Punjab Congress stated.
“Only a small portion of people approach de-addiction centres. This figure can safely be multiplied by five to arrive at the rough estimate of addicts,” the party’s RTI cell chairman Jasdeepak Singh said.
The party dared Badal to refute the data or tender an apology. “He should tell people how many people who approached these centres were addicted to heroin smuggled from Pakistan, as he has been blaming crossborder smuggling,” Jasdeepak said. The highest number (1.22 lakh) of drug addicts who approached de-addiction centres have been from Bathinda,” Jasdeepak said.