With Opposition parties making “drug menace” as major issue in the wake of upcoming assembly polls in Punjab, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Friday slammed Congress and AAP for “defaming” the youth of the state by calling them as “drug-addicts”. He claimed only 1.27 per cent of 3.75 lakh youths during recent police recruitment were “tested positive” for drug abuse. Sukhbir also lashed out at Opposition party leaders, including Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, and questioned them that how they arrived at the figure of “70 per cent youth of Punjab being drug addicts”.
Addressing media here, Sukhbir who is also president of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), asked the “anti-Punjab and anti-youth” Congress leader Amarinder Singh and AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal to tender an “unconditional apology” to the people of Punjab and its youth for conducting a “dangerous image distortion fraud” against them by branding the “children of the land of the Gurus” as a “generation of drug addicts”.
“The demon-duo (Amarinder and Kejriwal) as well as their parties will have to pay heavily for this unforgivable sin which is akin to a heinous and deadly crime against our own children and younger brothers and sisters. In fact, so inseparable will the names of Amarinder and Arvind, and Rahul Gandhi remain on the list of the enemies of Punjab that in the popular perception they will always feature simultaneously with the leaders of the anti-Punjab ” invasion and defamation” pack,” he alleged.
He said Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal launched a “decisive” war on drugs and has “successfully” enlisted a wide-base popular support, especially from Punjabi youth against this social evil.
Sukhbir alleged the Congress and AAP entered into an “unholy conspiracy” to brand the entire Punjabi youth as a “lost generation” addicted to drugs and even “funded” Bollywood films to defame Punjab and Punjabi youth across the country and the world.
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Sukhbir said the anti-Punjab leaders must now disclose how they arrived at the figure of 70 per cent youth of Punjab being drug addicts.
He alleged that the campaign launched by the Congress and AAP to brand Punjabis as “drug addicts” was akin to the Congress campaign of the eighties which branded all Sikhs as “terrorists”.
Speaking about the test conducted on police recruits, he said the government took a decision in this regard to make the factual position clear before the nation.
“Now the defamation campaign initiated against us stands thoroughly exposed as only 1.27 per cent of the tested 3.75 lakh youth have been tested positive for drug abuse,” he claimed.
He said the average drug abuse in case of opioids was much “below” the national average.