Seemingly upbeat over the ban on the sale of poppy husk in Rajasthan by the Rajasthan high court following a public interest litigation (PIL), the Punjab government is now contemplating to file a PIL in the Madhya Pradesh high court to seek a ban on poppy cultivation there.
Deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, while talking to the media during the inauguration of Akal University here on Friday, said he had spoken to the Punjab advocate general, and the Punjab government or SAD could file the PIL.
"We would seek a ban on poppy cultivation. If you need the drug for medicinal purposes, you could import it but cultivation is not justified," he said. Reiterating the SAD's earlier stand, he said it couldn't be that there is imprisonment for an act in one state while the government of another state earned profit from it.
The SAD has been blaming the BJP-ruled states of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan as sources of drugs in Punjab, alleging that Punjab is being defamed by labelling its youth as drug addicts whereas drugs are not manufactured in the state and these were smuggled from MP and Rajasthan besides from across the international border.
Meanwhile, amid the demand by hardliners to release the Sikh prisoners who had completed their jail term, Sukhbir said this couldn't be done as the Supreme Court had told all state governments that the dreaded prisoners could not be released. On the apprehension of a law-and-order problem by bringing the Sikh prisoners to the state, the deputy chief minister said no force could destroy the peace in the state.
On the issue of the Punjabis named in the blacklist, Sukhbir said Punjab was taking up the issue with the Centre. He said there was no need to maintain the blacklist and the proclaimed offenders should be treated according to the law of the land.
Taking a dig at the rallies being organised by former chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh, Sukhbir said Amarinder could hold rallies only in marriage palaces and could not face the heat in the open.
Replying to a query on the mushrooming of chit fund companies in the Malwa belt that allegedly were duping people of crores, he said district administrations had been told to act against the fraudsters.
He also took on the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) saying the AAP government in Delhi was doing exactly the opposite of what they had claimed to do.
SAD woman member stopped from meeting Sukhbir
A member of Istri Akali Dal, the woman wing of the SAD, broke down after she was not allowed to meet Sukhbir. Rajinder Kaur, a resident of Malout, wanted to put forward her demands. However, cops prevented her and her mother from going ahead. She wanted to get the issue of Shagun scheme and the recruitment of three persons in gurdwaras addressed.