No rave parties, so no drug abuse in Punjab: Union minister Sampla

  • Aneesha Sareen, Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
  • Updated: Jun 30, 2016 21:25 IST
Union minister and state BJP chief Vijay Sampla (left) and Congress MP Ravneet Singh Bittu at a function in (HT Photo)

The figures of drug abuse in Punjab are exaggerated, claims state BJP president Vijay Sampla, “or why hasn’t any rave party been busted in these parts?”

Drug abuse was a countrywide problem, yet movies such as ‘Udta Punjab’ defamed a specific state, he said on Thursday here, sharing the dais with local Congress MP Ravneet Singh Bittu at a wheelchair distribution function. “Rave parties are natural where drug consumption is big,” he told HT, “and these are busted in metros mainly.”

Also read I Udta Punjab: Facts, figures and falsehoods of state’s drug problem

“At a recent army recruitment camp in Rupnagar, no candidate tested positive for drugs. The same at other places,” said the Union minister of state for social justice and empowerment. Sampla said the Akali-BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) alliance in the state was solid and going into the assembly elections together.

At the distribution camp on the Tibba road, nearly 2,300 people received free-of-cost hearing and mobility aids under a Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment initiative. Sampla said since his taking over as Union minister of state, the ministry had organised 3,000-odd similar camps. He requested Bittu to make his constituents aware of the scheme.

Asked why he had agreed to share dais with an MP from the rival Congress, he said: “We are here for a humane cause. Politics takes a back seat at these events.”

Also read I After health minister, now CM Badal downplays drug issue in Punjab

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