FORMER UNION Minister and senior BJP leader Vijay Sampla on Tuesday said “82 per cent” of Punjab is caught in the drug abuse net and that the coronavirus lockdown was responsible for a drop in addiction, rather than government efforts.
Addressing a press conference along with Vineet Joshi, a state BJP leader, Sampla said out of the 22 districts in the state, 18 figure in the list of 272 districts of the country that the Centre has declared as ‘most affected districts’ in terms of drug abuse and addiction.
Sampla said that the Punjab districts in the Centre’s list are Faridkot, Jalandhar, Amritsar, Bathinda, Ferozepur, Fazilka, Gurdaspur, Kapurthala, Ludhiana, Mansa, Moga, Pathankot, Sangrur, Patiala, Sri Muktsar Sahib, Nawanshahr, Tarn Taran and Hoshiarpur.
Sampla and Joshi said that the Congress, which had promised to end the drug problem within four weeks of coming to power in the state, has been unable to meet its target even after three years of rule.
“In his election manifesto, on page 19, Capt Amarinder Singh had mentioned that drug addiction and drug peddling will be ended in four weeks. But even after more than three years, the claim is yet to see being turned to truth,” said Sampla.
Sampla and Joshi said it was an irony that Captain government was regularly releasing data of its own failures. “Punjab government’s own figures say that in the last three years, 5,54,125 people enrolled at the OOAT centres, of which 23 per cent (1,29,504) enrolled between March 23 and June 17 i.e corona lockdown and curfew period. The success in disrupting drug supply lines in the last three months is largely because of the lockdown and other factors and not because of the efforts of the government, Punjab police or the STF,” Sampla and Joshi said.