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Punjab chief minister ducks questions on drug abuse

punjab Updated: Feb 21, 2016 12:31 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Punjab drug abuse

Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal(HT File Photo)

Chief minister (CM) Parkash Singh Badal on Monday avoided answering questions on the controversy relating to the drug abuse survey cited by deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal a few days ago. The junior Badal had said that only 0.06% of people in the state were drug addicts, adding up to only about 16,620 persons out of a total population of 2.77 crore.

Read: Only 16,000 drug addicts in Punjab, AAP-ruled Delhi worse off: Sukhbir

When questioned over contradiction of Sukhbir’s claim by state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Kamal Sharma, who had said on Friday that “drug abuse was a serious problem in Punjab”, Badal said he would not like to get into all these accusations and controversies.

“I don’t know what Sharma said. I would only appeal to all leaders to stop defaming the state on the issue of drugs. Various other states have this problem and of a more serious magnitude. However, statements being issued by state leadership are bringing a bad name for Punjab,” he said. Badal said this in an interaction with mediapersons after laying the foundation stone of the Bist-Doab canal rejuvenation project and addressing a rally organised by local MLA Gurpartap Singh Wadala.

Read: Drug abuse: Captain, Bhagwant Mann lash out at Sukhbir over wrong data

Read: Sukhbir wrong: Punjab indeed has a drug problem, worse than India, world