Jalandhar: In the election year, Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment and BJP Punjab chief Vijay Sampla on Saturday claimed that the centre government has rejected the previously conducted All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) survey on drugs abuse and a fresh survey would be conducted soon.
Sampla said that the centre government has completely done away with the previous AIIMS report on drugs abuse report in the country. “This AIIMS report was rejected, as it was found incomplete in many aspects. Now, the AIIMS would conduct a fresh survey of drugs abuse problem of all the states, which would be completed within 18 months”, he said.
Addressing a press conference, Sampla said that the way AIIMS projected Punjab as a ‘Drugs state’, it was never acknowledged by the centre government. “The centre government never officially made public such a report. However, the AIIMS report was leaked in the media and wrong facts were reported, hence projecting Punjab in poor light in the drugs issue”, he added.
The BJP state chief said that opposition parties have been deliberately raking up the drugs issue and painting the entire youth of Punjab as ‘druggists’.
Talking about the ongoing Monsoon session in the parliament, Sampla handed over a report to the media, which highlighted that other states were far ahead in drugs abuse and suicides whereas Punjab was defamed for no reason. “Punjab has far less drugs abuse problem but the state witnessed a malicious campaign by the political rivals”, he added.
Sampla also cleared that his ministry got the AIIMS survey done but it was never acknowledged. “I never gave approval to any such report where AIIMS conducted a survey on drugs abuse”, he said.
The Union minister shared that AIIMS conducted a survey on drugs abuse in the year 2001 but that report was not accepted as the ‘sample’ was very less out of a population of 2 crore in Punjab. “The end result was a mere 1 percent population. How could we accept such a report?” he asked.
Sampla said that in the year 2012, as many as 91 deaths took place due to drugs abuse in Punjab while 63 deaths took place in the year 2013. On the other hand 38 people died due to drugs abuse in the year 2014.
Further, to vindicate his claim, Sampla presented the facts of Delhi and said that as many as 45 people died due to drugs abuse in the year 2012. “22 people died in the year 2013 while 32 people died in the year 2014 due to drugs abuse”, he added.
Similarly, he said that Maharastra witnessed the highest number of deaths due to drugs abuse in the year 2014. “As many as 1372 people died due to drugs abuse. In Tamil Nadu, 552 people died this year while 475 died in Kerala due to drugs problem. In Madhya Pradesh also, 305 people died due to the drugs problem. With such facts, how could we claim that Punjab was a drug addicts state?” he stated.
It is pertinent to mention here that Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi had categorically stated that 70 percent of youth from Punjab was drug addicts. The SAD-BJP alliance had taken strong exception to this statement, leading to political turmoil in the state.
Notably, not just Rahul Gandhi but even the entire Punjab congress leaders had been quoting the AIIMS report to cite examples of drugs problem. Even Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal had also quoted the AIIMS survey report on drugs in his speeches. However, now this AIIMS report was done away with by the centre government.
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