Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said that about seven out of 10 youth in the state are under the influence of drugs.
The statement made at a meet organised by National Students Union of India (NSUI) at the Panjab University (PU) campus sparked off a controversy with the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) wondering how the Congress leader came to this mathematical conclusion.
I am not a mathematician like Rahul Gandhi who came to this conclusion after a flying visit to Punjab, said Naresh Gujral,SAD MP.
A major part of Rahuls speech focussed on lambasting the opposition at the Centre and the ruling government in the state. He flayed the opposition at the Centre,which includes the SAD,for impeding the governments reform policies.
He said policies such as FDI in retail sector,MGNREGA,and Land Acquisition Bill were earlier supported by the NDA government but it is now being opposed because they are being impelemented by the Congress.
Crtiticising the Punjab government,he said,Funds allotted for welfare of Scheduled Castes are not being used by the state and are often returned.
He urged the college students to join National Students Union of India (NSUI) and said,We started the system of an elected Youth Congress that allows youth from all backgrounds to participate in politics. No political party follows such a system. We want students to join and clean up the political system.
Though PU officials,in a bid to keep it a students-only affair,had on Wednesday night issued a letter stating that no students from outside the varsity would be allowed on campus,it was openly flouted.
The organising body,NSUI Punjab,had also promised the 5,000-odd students who had flocked from places from other districts that questions will be answered by Rahul. But no such interaction took place.
Ramneek,a student from Punjabi University,Patiala,said,As a youth icon,we expected that he would take up our issues. Instead,it was all remarks against other political parties. We came all the way thinking that some of us might get to talk to him.
The protest,& the push for NSUI
The protest by student groups against the visit of AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi continued outside the V-Cs office on Thursday. Leaders of ABVP,SFI,SOI,INSO and PUSU wore black bands and displayed black flags. ABVP leader Dinesh Chouhan claimed that when they tried to proceed towards the event ground,they were manhandled by the police and pushed away. Some of the students were also told to leave the campus till the event ended and were escorted out, he added. The parties alleged that the campus was being turned into a political ground. The authorities had earlier claimed that is was an interaction programme,but it turned out to be a political function, an SFI leader said.
In an unexpected turn of events,various students leaders of PU,including the current Student Council president Sattinder Singh Satti,joined NSUI. According to the Lyngdoh Committee guidelines,however,the student council must not be affiliated to any political party. Apart from Satti,five other leaders joined NSUI. They are former student Council presidents Pushpinder Singh,Sahil Nanda and Amit Bhatia,as well as former SOPU presidents Harpreet Multani and Barinder Singh Dhillon.