Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Monday launched a scathing attack on Congress and the Gandhi family over the issue of drugs in the state. “Prevalence of drugs is a hype created by the Gandhis as they are against the Sikhs,” Badal said, according to a report. With just a few months to go before the assembly polls take place in Punjab, the statement bore much of the significance.
Several Congress leaders led by party vice president Rahul Gandhi had time to time targeted ruling Akali Dal-BJP dispensation for patronizing drug business in the state. Rahul even had alleged that the Punjab Police was capable dealing with the drug menace but its hands were tied by the Punjab government.
Notably, the state government will observe November 1 as ‘No Tobacco Day’ in an effort to discourage tobacco use in the state. “Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has issued directions to all the Deputy Commissioners in this regard,” Punjab Health Minister Surjit Kumar Jyani said in an official release on Monday. He said the state government is committed towards better health of the people of the state.
Principal Secretary, Health, Vini Mahajan said the aim of this campaign is to reduce prevalence of Tobacco or Nicotine use in Punjab in order to reduce prevalence of non-communicable diseases. She also said that the sale of loose cigarettes, tobacco and e-cigarettes are banned in Punjab.
Earlier, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Sukhbir had rejected all the allegations saying that Punjab is being defamed as the drugs hub of the country. Armed with statistics and data pertaining to the national average, the state government had pointed out that states like Goa see the most drugs seizures not Punjab which is just a transit route for drugs.