The issue of drug abuse, particularly among the youth in Punjab that goes to polls in a few months, rocked Rajya Sabha on Thursday, as members of ruling NDA and opposition Congress traded charges and indulged in heated exchanges during Question Hour.
While asking supplementary questions, Ambika Soni (Congress) said “the government is not serious about the problem of drugs and that is why no survey has been conducted by it on the extent of the abuse.”
Citing a survey, she said almost 60-65 per cent of the youth in Punjab have been in direct contact with drugs, she said “you cannot keep it under the carpet any more,” she said, asking whether the government had any central scheme to augment setting up of rehabilitation centres in Punjab.
Other Congress members from Punjab, Pratap Singh Bajwa and Shamsher Singh Dullo were also on their feet trying to make their points but were disallowed by Deputy Chairman P J Kurien.
Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Vijay Sampla shot back saying a survey was to be carried out every five years and the intentions of Congress were clear from the fact that it did not carry out any such survey in last decade.
While Congress members accused the Akali-BJP combine, ruling Punjab for almost a decade, of not doing anything to check the menace, the members of the ruling alliance accused Congress of not conducting any survey during their tenure to ascertain the extent of drugs abuse and take corrective measures.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi witnessed the heated exchanges for a brief period during the Question Hour, before he left the House.