Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president Amarinder Singh on Friday opposed the idea of opening of licensed poppy husk shops in Punjab, saying he and his party were “strictly” against the consumption of drugs, whether natural or synthetic.
Replying to a question on the scourge of drugs in the state and a suggestion that the government should start licensing the poppy husk shops, he rejected the idea, saying all types of addictions were “dangerous and disastrous”.
“I understand that the poppy husk is relatively less harmful than synthetic drugs, but we have to endeavour towards a completely drug free Punjab,” Amarinder said, adding, “He knew who were the people responsible for producing and supplying the drugs and the time was not very far when all of them will be behind the bars”
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Interacting with the residents of Payal and Raikote assembly segments during two separate programmes of ‘Halqe vich Captain’ here, he appealed to people to give him a chance “so that he could bring back the smile on each and every Punjabis’ face”.
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He also disagreed with the government in “forcing” the residents of border areas to move out of their villages “without any proper arrangements”. Hoping that the tension along the border subsides, he alleged the residents were evacuated from border villages without “proper alternate arrangements”
Villagers have been subjected to undue suffering and harassment by the government order, Amarinder alleged. The PCC president suggested that the government should have “waited and watched” the situation before asking the people to vacate their villages.
He demanded adequate compensation for the displaced people. The former chief minister opposed the move to prevent the farmers, whose land is across the fence, from visiting their farms.
He claimed he had received a number of complaints from the people as they were not allowed to tend to their land across the fence.
“If the trade can go along as usual why stop our farmers from taking care of their crops?” he asked. Blaming the Badals and Majithia family for the “ills prevailing in the state, especially the problem of drugs”, Amarinder reiterated he will ensure that all of them were “taken to task”.
“I have set them right in the past and I will not take a minute to set them right again”, he said. Amarinder agreed to the suggestion that Punjab, like Haryana, must introduce Anand Karaj Act.
He wondered as why Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, despite claiming himself to be the guardian of panthic interests, had failed to introduce the Act in Punjab when Congress party had offered unconditional support to his government on the issue.
Responding to complaints about the harassment of traders and businessmen by the income tax officials, the PCC president alleged that Union government “had let lose a reign of terror on business”.
Since Modi has failed to deliver on his promise of bringing back the black money from abroad, his government had virtually started “terror and extortion” against the traders and businessmen which is unacceptable, he said.
Agreeing with a suggestion that industrial hubs must be developed in and around the small towns like Raikote, Amarinder said his aim was “complete re-industrialisation of Punjab”.
This, he said, was necessary for reviving the economy and generating jobs. He said if voted to power his government will create a land pool by arranging available land for the industry.
Only then, he added, can industry come to Punjab as otherwise it opts for places like Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand where the land is available at cheap prices.