Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Capt Amarinder Singh asked chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Tuesday to take the issue of drug addiction in the state seriously and not to trivialise it as it was ruining the youth and eating into the vitals of the society.
Reacting to their statements on the issue, Amarinder said, "Better behave and act responsibly. Don't make a joke of such a serious problem." He said that running away from the problem and denying it vehemently would not make it vanish.
The PPCC president pointed out that the figures referred to by Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi on the prevalence of drug abuse in the state were given by the Punjab government, as per which 70% youth of a particular age group in Punjab were into drugs.
"By criticising what Rahul had said, the Akalis are contradicting their own stand in court. The Akalis cannot give one statement in court and another in public to suit their petty partisan interests. Instead of taking the issue seriously, the father-son duo, joined by other leaders like Bikram Majithia, have ganged up to continuously deny the problem and put the blame on others," he remarked.
Questioning Badal for blaming the BSF for the influx of drugs into this part of the country from Pakistan and Afghanistan, he said this was a classic case of passing the buck. "BSF personnel are doing their job, but I ask Badal what about the domestic drug industry that is flourishing in Punjab. The state government needs to set its own house in order," said Amarinder.
The PPCC president pointed out that a number of youth were not able to make it to the armed forces for lack of physical fitness, which again was mainly due to consumption of drugs.