Jalandhar: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Monday waged a war against drugs and promised the people of Punjab that if the party came to power in 2017, it would bring a stringent law to wipe out drug abuse from the state within a month.
The Gandhi scion said that the law against drugs would be brought on the lines of the Land Acquisition Bill for which he had led a dharna, along with farmers at Bhatta Parsaul in Uttar Pradesh (UP). “We will continue to hold dharnas against drugs and law and order problem. Similarly, when farmers at Bhatta Parsaul raised the issue, we realized their pain and finally brought the Bill to save their lands,” he said.
Rahul further said that the property of those leaders who were running a drug trade in the state would be attached while honest Punjab Police officers would be deployed to eradicate this socio-economic problem. “The whopping money collected from attaching the property of the accused would be put to use for the public,” he said.
Addressing a gathering during a state-level dharna against drugs and law and order problem opposite the Deputy Commissioner’s office, the Congress vice-president lauded the Punjab Police for eradicating terrorism on their own from Punjab. “There was no dearth of commitment in the Punjab Police but the Akalis did not want honest officers to work. Good police officers were cut to size by the Akalis while corrupt ones were working in sync with the state government, hence patronizing the drugs trade,” he said.
Rahul Gandhi also highlighted that four years ago when he had mentioned that 70 per cent of state youths were in the grip of drugs, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal had mocked his statement. “Now, when a film like ‘Udta Punjab’ on drug abuse was made, the ruling Badal government was opposing it. They (SAD) were not willing to accept the truth,” he added.
Earlier, Punjab Pardesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief Amarinder Singh mentioned that after after forming the government the Congress would eradicate drugs abuse problem within four weeks. Talking about the deteriorating law and order problem, he said that broad daylight murders were taking place while the Badals had turned a blind eye. “Whether it was the murder of Mata Chand Kaur of the Namdhari sect, the murderous attack on Ranjit Singh Dhandriawala, Bargari attack on two youths, Behbalkan incident or farmer suicides, law and order had gone for a toss in Punjab,” he said.The CLP leader, Charanjit Singh Channi, also took a dig at the ruling SAD-BJP government and said that the government considered ‘Punjab’ as its enemy, as a result of which it was facing worst times in terms of downfall of the state.
Rahul Gandhi was late by over one-and-a-half hours, leaving the party workers braving the humid weather during the dharna.
The Gandhi scion instead of sitting on the sofa in the main enclosure rather sat with the party workers, where everybody was left clicking selfies. The senior leaders, including Capt Amarinder, then rushed to sit on the floor but he was offered a chair to sit.
Rahul Gandhi took a dig at industrialization downfall in Punjab and said, “Both PM Modi and CM Badal talk of ‘ease of business’. Surprisingly, the only easy business was ‘business of chitta (popular name for drugs in Punjabi)’.
The soon to be released Bollywood flick ‘Udta Punjab’ remained the highlight of the dharna as every leader made a mention of the film, blaming the ruling SAD-BJP alliance for opposing it. As senior Congress leader Sunil Jakhar said, “The name of the film is ‘Udta Punjab’, but where is Punjab flying? Rather it should be ‘Bilakta Punjab’, as Punjab had been ruined by the Badals.”
Sufi singer and dalit leader Hans Raj Hans sang a song in the honour of Congress vice-president, lauding his leadership qualities and termed him ‘Naya Gandhi’. Hans also clarified that his song ‘Nazm’ was no entertainment like ‘Dil tote tote ho gaya’ or ‘121 Rumaal’ song, rather a serious composition.
Bitter rivals, Capt Amarinder and Rajya Sabha MP Partap Singh Bajwa’s love-hate chemistry came to the fore once again. When Bajwa was giving his address, stage coordinator Rana Gurjeet, who is a Capt loyalist, tried to stop Bajwa from giving a lengthy speech. To this Bajwa said, “I knew it very well that you (Rana) will not let me speak. The way you patted my back, gave me an indication that you don’t want me to speak. Ask somebody else to speak less, but I will speak.”
Bajwa also mentioned in the presence of Capt Amarinder that he had demanded a CBI probe into the drugs mafia case. On this statement, Capt Amarinder was found giving a royal ignore.
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