Drugs no longer a political issue in Punjab: Badal

  • Ravinder Vasudeva, Hindustan Times, Jalandhar
  • Updated: Nov 17, 2014 14:52 IST

While the Punjab unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is trying to corner its alliance partner SAD on the issue of drugs in the state, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, on Sunday, said drugs were no longer a political issue in Punjab and the state was “deliberately” being targeted to tarnish its image.

The chief minister, who was in Jalandhar to take part in a function organised by a media group, when questioned about BJP’s criticism of the government over the drug issue, said Punjab was the only state where measures had been taken by the government to curb the menace.

“Right from recovery of drugs to breaking its supply chain and providing rehabilitation centres for addicts, the government’s initiative to curb the menace is impressive. The number of drug de-addiction centres in Punjab is highest in the country in any state. “Pta ni kyun sanu jaan jaan ke hit karde ne drug issue te…( Don’t know why Punjab is targeted repeatedly),” questioned Badal.

In another indirect attack on the BJP, the chief minister also said that apart from the supply of drugs from Afghanistan and Pakistan through the international borders, drugs in Punjab were also pouring in from Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh (both BJP ruled states).

“Not only Pakistan and Afghanistan, drugs are also flowing in from Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. But only Punjab is earning a bad name,” said Badal.

When asked if he meant that both the BJP-ruled states were also responsible for drugs in Punjab, Badal replied that he would not say anything but the crux of the matter was that it was a nationwide interlinked problem which the central government must redress.

“The need of the hour is to evolve a mechanism that disallows entry of even 10gm narcotics in Punjab. The only solution to the problem is to check the supply line from international and domestic fronts and efforts must be initiated for sealing the border, apart from stopping the neighbouring states of Punjab from openly selling drugs like poppy husk,” he said.

Badal said it was not a time to play politics over the issue and all parties should come under one banner to fight the menace.

On CPS Navjot Kaur Sidhu’s continuous barbs at him and his party, Badal said he did not need to reply to the issue as it was the BJP’s internal matter.

When asked if such repeated statements by the CPS were putting his government in an embarrassing position, Badal replied, “Hun dasso ji ki kariye…embarrassment ethe hun roj hi hoyi jandi hai….. (You please tell us what can be done in this regard? Embarrassment has become a routine affair now).

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