'Cong protest against drugs only political gimmick'
Pillorying the Congress over its proposed sit-ins against drugs, Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Friday alleged the party did nothing to eradicated the menace during its two decades in power at the Centre and was now tying to score "brownie points" on the grave issue.chandigarh Updated: Jan 03, 2015 07:48 IST
Pillorying the Congress over its proposed sit-ins against drugs, Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Friday alleged the party did nothing to eradicated the menace during its two decades in power at the Centre and was now tying to score "brownie points" on the grave issue.
The five-time chief minister "dared" Congress leadership to list a "single achievement" in checking the supply of drugs from across the border while it was in the power at the Centre.
"It is a well known fact that the state Congress leaders have remained tight-lipped all these years on this grave issue.
"Today, when the SAD-BJP government is working for eradicating the menace of drugs from the state, the Congress leadership is resorting to such a cheap tactic to score brownie points before media," he told reporters here.
Punjab Congress chief Pratap Singh Bajwa on Thursday said that his party will stage 'dharnas' on January 5 in all the districts, demanding dismissal of the SAD-BJP government for allegedly "inciting people against the security forces".
Earlier, the ruling SAD had diluted its stand on its proposed sit-ins on drug smuggling. The BJP ally had on Sunday announced that it will
organise 'dharnas' on the international border on January 5 to "pressurise the BSF" to stop entry of drugs from "Pakistan".
However, a day later, the SAD said it will hold three dharnas near the IB check points to "create awareness" about drugs as well as focus on the need for greater vigilance along the border with Pakistan.
Badal today said that the state was fighting nation's war against drugs as Punjab was on the transit route of the drugs supplied across the globe from international border.
"Due to this, the SAD has decided to initiate mass awareness campaign against drug menace in the state and as part of that protests will be held at Attari, Hussainiwala and Sadki borders on January 5," he said.
The 87-year-old Akali veteran also said that drug menace was one of the major challenges faced by the country and the only solution for checking it was to totally cut down the supply line of drugs both from within the country and abroad.
"Serious efforts must be initiated for sealing the borders to check cross border inflow of drugs besides refraining states like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and others to openly sell drugs like Poppy husk," he stated.
Meanwhile, the chief minister sought to allay fears regarding urea shortage in the state, saying Punjab has received far more urea as compared to the corresponding period of last year.
"There is no need for any panic on this issue as there is hardly any scarcity of urea in the state. Regular monitoring is being done by the state agriculture department to ensure that farmers do not face any difficulty," he said.
Replying to another query, the chief minister reiterated that the Union government must intervene for securing the release of Sikh prisoners languishing in various jails even after the completion of their term.
First Published: Jan 02, 2015 18:22 IST