Taking a dig at the ongoing mass contact programme of former chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh, Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal on Friday termed it as a theatrical move to befool the people.
The chief minister, who was talking to mediapersons on the sidelines of a sangat darshan programme, said, "Amarinder has been targeting his bête noire, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Partap Singh Bajwa, and opposing the Akali-BJP alliance rather than making efforts to establish contact with people in earnest."
Badal added that Amarinder was hell bent upon tarnishing the Shiromani Akali Dal's (SAD's) image and maligning its leaders in every possible manner by telling lies in broad daylight.
The CM mocked Amarinder for playing to the gallery rather than seriously focusing on his much-hyped mass contact programme to reclaim the Congress' base and credibility, which has been eroded due to people's unflinching faith in the policies and programmes of the SAD-BJP alliance.
Badal had said on Thursday, "You never know when Amarinder is going to fade away for another six months."
The chief minister reiterated that Punjab was fighting a war on drugs and had taken a series of decisions to stamp out this curse.
On the battle against the drug menace, he said the state government had opened several de-addiction centres to provide best treatment to addicts, besides establishing a network of rehabilitation centres in the state for the rehabilitation of addicts.
Badal lamented that narcotics such as heroin were smuggled into Punjab from Afghanistan via Pakistan, adding that synthetic drugs were neither produced nor manufactured in the state.
He also welcomed the Rajasthan high court's recent order directing the state government there to ban the open sale of poppy husk and opium.
'Sikh prisoners shifted, not released'
Justifying the transfer of Sikh prisoners from other states to Punjab, the CM said these persons had only been shifted to state jails, not released, and that too within the ambit of the law.
He claimed that the Rashtriya Sikh Sangat, a wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), had approached the Union home ministry to release all Sikh prisoners lodged in jails across the country on humanitarian grounds.
Earlier, during the sangat darshan programme in the Jandiala constituency, Badal asked the Amritsar deputy commissioner to immediately organise special camps for issuing death and birth certificates as residents had complained of harassment on account of inordinate delay in getting these vital documents.
Prominent among others present on the occasion included member of Parliament (MP) Ranjit Singh Brahmpura and Jandiala Guru MLA Baljit Singh Jalal Usma.