The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) started a campaign against drug addiction by asking its volunteers to collect data on drug victims and de-addiction centres at a thanksgiving meeting in Mansa on Tuesday. The party volunteers have been given a rehabilitation form, which will be filled with personal details of the patient and his/her addiction history. They have been given seven days to collect data on drug addicts . AAP candidate from Mansa Nazar Singh Manshahia, who held the meeting, distributed the forms among the volunteers. “Around 5,000 forms have been given to each constituency in Mansa. The three candidates have distributed the forms among the volunteers after which the compiled data will be uploaded on a google form,” said an AAP volunteer.
SAD leader and former MLA from Mansa, Sukhwinder Singh Aulakh, said that the party has grown overconfident and has taken a very immature step to hold surveys to identify the drug addicts. “It becomes a social stigma for addicts if you are reminded about your habits all the time. Moreover, whenever the SAD-BJP government held such surveys, the AAP was always critical about it. I don’t know how come they have started adopting our steps.” Congress leader and Sardulgarh MLA Ajit Inder Singh Mofar termed the survey a very tricky step to influence its base in other states. “The AAP is not in power and they have no authority to hold such surveys. It is a very clever step by the party to influence their base in other states. They want to show that they have a growing influence in Punjab.”
Meanwhile, the in-charge of the drug de-addiction centre here said that such surveys help in a big way to cure the addicts. “If the identity of the addicts is kept secret, then it doesn’t help them. And, if they are repeatedly reminded of their habit, there are chances that out of guilt the patient will abandon his habit,” said Dr Harpal Sra.
Mann visits strongrooms
Meanwhile, AAP MP from Sangrur Bhagwant Mann visited the strongrooms in Mansa and supported the party’s survey to collect the data on drug addiction. When asked as to why the party has often criticised survey results of the SAD-BJP government, Mann said that their survey would be more credible than the previously held surveys under the SAD-BJP regime. “Their survey is based on recruitment of police where they conducted substance abuse test. Why will a drug addict come to appear for a police test?” asked Mann.
On being asked whether Mann will retain the Jalalabad seat if the party doesn’t get majority, he said that regardless of the eletion verdict, he will not quit Jalalabad. “If I win the seat, I will retain it and not enforce a bypoll.”