Govt won’t endorse Sidhu’s view on legalising poppy: Punjab health minister Brahm Mohindra
“Sidhu’s statement on legalising cultivation of poppy is his personal view. The government is not endorsing his comments,” the minister said.Updated: Oct 03, 2018 09:54 IST
Punjab health minister Brahm Mohindra on Tuesday distanced himself from his cabinet colleague Navjot Singh Sidhu’s support for legalising cultivation, sale and consumption of opium and its by-product poppy husk in the state.
“Sidhu’s statement on legalising cultivation of poppy is his personal view. The government is not endorsing his comments,” the minister said as he attended a function at Government College for Girls (GCG) here on Tuesday.
The minister added that the government was committed to eradicate drugs from the state and claimed that supply line of drugs had been cracked. “I feel that poppy cultivation should not be allowed. We cannot throw future generations into this muck,” added Mohindra. He said the government should introduce a uniform policy in order to eradicate the menace of drugs.
Dharamvira Gandhi had sought support three months ago, but Mohindra had denied. Sources in the government said that MP from Patiala Dharamvira Gandhi had met health minister Brahm Mohindra three months back and sought his support for poppy cultivation campaign. However, the minister reportedly denied support the campaign.
When contacted, MP Gandhi said he met Punjab chief secretary Karan Avtar Singh few months back in the matter. “I am fighting this battle for the welfare of farmers and will not hesitating to seek anyone’s support for the cause.” He added, “Till 1955, poppy was cultivated in Punjab. But the then government at the Centre imposed sanctions and banned its cultivation. After implementation of the NDPS law, all poppy users were branded as drug addicts. Some of them even faced social boycott while many continue to languish in jail.”
‘OVER 300 DOCTORS TO JOIN HEALTH DEPT’
Speaking on the issue of paucity of doctors, Mohindra claimed that over 300 doctors will join the health department by next week. He added that 92 rural medical officer will also join the department soon.
First Published: Oct 02, 2018 21:29 IST