After health minister, now CM Badal downplays drug issue in Punjab

  • Aseem Bassi, Hindustan Times, Lapoke (Amritsar)
  • Updated: Jun 29, 2016 10:53 IST
Chief minister Parkash Singh Badal interacting with mediapersons after a sangat darshan at Choganwan village of Raja Sansi constituency in Amritsar on Tuesday. (Sameer Sehgal/HT Photo)

The CM told the media on the sidelines of his sangat darshan (public contact) programme at Lopoke village in Raja Sansi constituency that in Punjab “the opposition parties, the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) mainly, are just busy defaming the country’s sword arm and food bowl”. “The state government has already put many drug peddlers in jail and opened a network of de-addiction and rehabilitation centres,” he said.

A couple of days ago, the health minister had said AllIndia Institute of Medical Sciences had found only 1.8% of the population on drugs in 10 Punjab districts and if the survey was expanded to all 22 districts, then the percentage would decline to 1.

Playing down the terrorist infiltration reports from Pathankot, the CM said he had requested Union home minister Rajnath Singh to secure the Pakistan border in Punjab the way it was protected in Jammu and Kashmir. “The recent terror attacks in Pathankot and Dinanagar have proved that Punjab is on the radar of anti-national forces,” said Badal, adding that the state government was deploying its second line of defence but the Centre should pump in more money to modernise the police force.


Badal said the Aam Aadmi Party (his main challenge in the state elections coming up in 2017) had no future in Punjab, and it was a “water bubble waiting to burst”. “The AAP government in Delhi led by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal made tall promises but failed to fulfil any,” he added. Asked about Kejriwal’s coming to Amritsar on July 3 to launch his party’s manifesto for the youth, Badal said: “Everyone has the right to (release manifesto).”

Asked to comment on the sacrilege incident in Malerkotla, the CM said the forces envious of the state were trying to disturb its hard-earned peace but the way police have caught the perpetrators would have sent them a strong message. He accused the Congress of denying Punjab its share of river water and sole rights to its capital city, besides provoking the anti-Sikh riots of 1984.

Earlier, he addressed public gatherings at Manawala, Saidian, Lopoke and some other villages. District planning committee chairman Veer Singh Lopoke, deputy inspector general of police Kunwar Vijay Pratap, deputy commissioner Varun Roojam, and senior superintendent of police Jasdeep Singh accompanied him.

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