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Monday, Sep 16, 2019

Punjab lags behind Haryana in sports due to drug menace, says minister Rana Sodhi

The statement comes in the backdrop of Punjab getting five medals at the Commonwealth Games against Haryana’s 22.

punjab Updated: Apr 27, 2018 10:56 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Amritsar/Ferozepur
Punjab sports and youth affairs minister Rana Gurmeet Singh Sodhi taking guard of honour in Amritsar on Thursday.
Punjab sports and youth affairs minister Rana Gurmeet Singh Sodhi taking guard of honour in Amritsar on Thursday.(Sameer Sehgal/HT)

Punjab sports and youth affairs minister Rana Gurmeet Singh Sodhi has said the state lagged behind neighbouring Haryana in sports due to drug menace promoted during the previous SAD-BJP regime.

Sodhi, in town to pay obeisance at the Golden Temple on Thursday, said, “Drug addiction has contributed a lot to the backwardness of Punjab in sports, due to the failure of the previous state government in checking the menace. The situation has now entered a dangerous phase.”

Significantly, at the Commonwealth Games that concluded recently in Australia, Haryana bagged 22 medals of the country’s total of 66. Punjab’s medal tally was just five. “Drugs and sports are inversely proportional to each other. If youth embrace drugs, they will not join sports,” he added, while interacting with reporters at the Circuit House. 

The minister added that the state government was committed to act against those involved in drug trade in the state, but there would be no vendetta.

He claimed that the Akalis had distorted his statement on the Kabaddi World Cup. “I did not say that we will not recognise Kabaddi. Training and tournaments of the sport will continue with the same pace. As far as the Kabaddi World Cup is concerned. This is not part of our sports calendar. To some extent, money was wasted on such events.” He added that the state would soon recruit PT teachers, coaches and psychologists for schools.

In Ferozepur, the minister said the state government would soon introduce a new sports policy to catch budding sportspersons in school itself.

“We are in touch with eminent sports persons, youth clubs and sports associations to focus on generating a sports culture at the grass roots,” he claimed, adding that in the absence of any concrete road map for sports during the previous regime, the state had floundered.

He also spoke of working on a plan to provide special status and financial assistance to national and international players from the state.

First Published: Apr 27, 2018 10:46 IST