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.
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.