'Akalis now seeking to 'legalise' drug trade in Punjab'

  • HT Correspondent, PTI, Raja Sansi
  • Updated: Apr 20, 2014 07:49 IST

Former chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Saturday alleged that after spreading the scourge of drug addiction across Punjab, the Akalis are now seeking to "legalise this money spinning trade, knowing fully well that this will destroy the state's future generations".

Addressing a series of public meetings in Bachhiwind, Lopoke and Ohian villages in the Raja Sansi assembly segment, Amarinder referred to the recent statement of senior Akali leader and Faridkot MP Paramjit Kaur Gulshan that she along with several Akali MLAs had met Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal demanding that the 'bhukki' (poppy husk) trade be legalised in Punjab and licences be issued in this regard.

Amarinder, the Congress candidate from Amritsar, said that it only vindicated his and his party's stand that the drug trade was being run right under the nose of the Akalis. "Now an Akali MP has confirmed it herself", he pointed out, while adding that such thinking will "only be a step towards devastation of the social fabric of the state".

He further said, "The Akalis move step-by-step. First they get the youth addicted to drugs, thus creating a demand for drugs and then they seek a licence for legalising this trade."

He also called for action against the MPs and MLAs who are raising the demand for legalising the drug trade.

He said, "The greed for money among the Akalis continues to remain unsatisfied and they do not even bother about the health of the youth".

Captain promised that once the Congress government is formed in the state, he will "hold each and every Akali accountable for his sins".

The former chief minister also ridiculed deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal's charges that he (Amarinder) was responsible for 'Operation Bluestar' and that he was involved in drug trafficking.

In a statement issued here, Amarinder said, "I can understand Sukhbir's encyclopaedic ignorance about 'Operation Bluestar', as in those days he was in the United States, partying with his friends and supporting a ponytail".

He further said, "But I am surprised over the allegations he (Sukhbir) has been levelling against me about drug trafficking. He is the home minister and he should take action rather than level allegations against me".

Amarinder reiterated his claim that he had opposed the Bluestar Operation in 1984. He also went onto elaborate his charges against chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and the BJP, vis-a-vis their stand on the June '84 army operation.

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