As the elections to the assembly approach, politics over use of lethal narcotic drugs is getting charged-up. The Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) are firing political missiles at the ruling SAD-BJP alliance for its failure to curb the menace. Not only this, the Opposition is naming certain senior Akali ministers of having connived with drug smugglers to earn a fast buck.
It was the arrested drug lord Jagdish Bhola who named some politicians as being his patrons which changed the discourse of the politics over the drug trade.
The Congress has promised to wipe out the drug business in four weeks if it is vote to power. AAP has promised to put the patrons of drug trade in jail within two weeks of it assuming power. The alliance is somewhat on the back-foot on the issue without much reason. It is an accepted norm in law that the statement of the accused cannot be relied upon. And Jagdish Bhola had named some sympathisers before being presented in a court. Not formally before the judge.
Rahul Gandhi, the vice-president of the Congress had blurted out that 70 per cent of the youth in Punjab were drug addicts. He blamed the ruling alliance for its failure to check the trade.
The SAD rightly refuted the irresponsible statement of Rahul Gandhi and demanded that the Congress should prove that 70 per cent of the youth in the state were addicts. In fact, there is no authentic study available which can be used to support the allegation.
The involvement of police in drug trade seems to be a possibility as kin of some police officers were arrested in this connection. But then it needs to be argued that under the alliance regime such elements have been caught and are being prosecuted. If the SAD-BJP was promoting drugs then how Bhola could be arrested? A son of a superintendent of police too has been booked and is now facing trial. If there was a state shelter provided to the smugglers how could hordes of them be arrested?
A deeper analysis shows that the Akalis themselves are taking a defensive posture when there is the need of being offensive. The Opposition does get the credit of milking the issue in its favour. It is the election mode which has made Opposition offensive, though without much proof. And why should the Akalis be afraid of challenging the Opposition?
The SAD-BJP alliance should be ready to transfer all the drug cases to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). It should transfer the responsibility of establishing the truth to the ace investigation agency. On the other hand Captain Amarinder Singh, president of the state Congress is opposing a probe by the CBI on the ground that the prosecution will be delayed. If he is so sure of delay in the hands of the CBI, where is the logic of his blaming alliance government for drug
Let me end this diary on a personal note. My ancestral village Wander Jattana in Faridkot district has only 3 known drug addicts in a population of over six thousand. How does it make up 70 per cent of the youth hooked to drugs?