COUNTER ALLEGATION-Badal unfairly passing buck of drug menace on to Centre; Khaira


Jalandhar, October 15, 2012: Former Congress MLA from Bholath in the Kapurthala district Sukhpal singh Khaira has said  Congress in no certain terms condemns Punjab deputy chief minister Parkash Singh Badal for wrongly passing on the buck to the Centre for failing to curb drugs in Punjab.

In a statement here today, he added the reported statement of Badal that the BSF was not doing its job well, has nothing much to do with the drug abuse of Punjab youth.

Adding, he said,” As we are aware, Afghanistan is the main source of opium, which is routed through Pakistan into India, from where it is converted into Cocaine and Heroin to be sent into countries like Canada and America”. He added once in the international market Cocaine and Heroin become very costly drugs, beyond the reach of an ordinary person, for example one gram of Cocaine in international market would cost Rs 10,000 of Indian currency.

He said the real problem of drugs into Punjab is due to localised cheap drugs such as smack, poppy husk, opium, chemical or synthetic drugs, capsules and tablets in abundance or morphine injections etc. The said drugs are easily available in every nook and corner of the state and this definitely is not possible without the active connivance of the police-politician nexus, he believed.

Adding, he said,” Our youth that are unemployed and frustrated in large numbers cannot afford costly international drugs such as Cocaine or Heroin as suggested by Badal, thus they fall prey to localised available cheap drugs”, he said.

Khaira said even the liquor trade is to blame for the degeneration of our youth. Successive governments have often boasted about in increase of excise revenues in the state each year. Citing example, he said the Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir singh Badal during the last budget claimed with pride that there had been an increase of Rs. 1,200 crores in the excise revenue of Punjab, when converted into liquor bottles, an alarming 32 crores of liquor bottles had been consumed in Punjab last year. Is such high consumption of liquor not responsible for drugging our youth, he questioned.

Further, he said in so far the statement of the AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi is concerned, it was based on a study conducted by the Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU), Amritsar in collaboration with World Health Organisation under Prof. Ravinder Singh Sandhu. It was on the basis of the study that Punjab Government in the year 2009 filed an affidavit in the High Court stating that 7 out of 10 youth were drug addict in Punjab. A similar study was also conducted by a person running a Drug De addiction Centre in Gurdaspur with the help of Red Cross an NGO. In this survey too, it was found that 67 % of youth of the district were addicted to drugs. So what wrong did Rahul Gandhi state, was it not facts provided by the SAD-BJP government, he further questioned.

Khaira said if Badal who is in his fifth term as CM cannot curb the drug menace in a small 300 square km state like Punjab, he has no moral authority to remain as CM even for a day. He should either quit immediately or curb drugs with an iron hand and stop passing the buck on to the Centre for his own failures.

Monday, October 15, 2012