Jalandhar : Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi Monday took on the Akali Dal-BJP combine for patronising drug business in the state while leading a protest against the menace in Jalandhar Monday. He said the Punjab Police was capable dealing with the drug problem but its hands were tied by the Punjab government. Hitting out at the 9-years old SAD-BJP government in the state, Gandhi accused the Akalis of "protecting" drugs trade and said there was "ease in doing only one business in Punjab which is of drugs". Gandhi also lambasted the Akali dispensation for unemployment in the state. Leading a dharna against the drugs menace and "deteriorating" law and order situation in the state, Gandhi asked people to be beware of the "dangerous enemy" which was "ruining" their lives, and promised to bring the state back on track.
"Amarinder Singh said he will take one month to end the drugs problem when Congress comes to power. Why did he say so. If you have to eliminate the drugs problem, then you will have to give power to the police. Attacking Deputy CM Sukhbir Badal for mocking him for saying that 70 per cent of Punjab’s youth was caught in the drug trap, Rahul said:
Sukhbir Badal had mocked me and said that I was defaming Punjab, They mocked me because they had to continue their drug business here, Punjab cannot go ahead till the time the youth of Punjab, who is chained to drugs, is freed from this problem; and it can be done only when people will admit it and support the Congress in its fight against drugs.” He added that the ruling party wanted ‘Udta Punjab’ banned banned in Punjab as it did not want to admit the reality.
Rahul promised that the Congress will bring a stringent law to curb the drug menace, adding that the state police will be empowered and properties acquired using drug money will be forfeited to raise funds for the welfare of Punjab’s youth. Apart from the issue of drugs, PPCC chief Captain Amarinder Singh raised law and order problems in the state, the issue of farm distress and the selling of government land by the SAD-BJP government. He also also mocked the Aam Aadmi Party as “topiwale”, and asked people to beware of them. Over a dozen of speakers at the event took Punjab Revenue Minister Bikram Singh Majithia on the drugs issue, while the Badals were attacked for controlling land, sand, bus, and cable “mafia” in Punjab. All senior leaders of the Punjab Congress were present at the venue that saw large number of party workers turn up for the dharna.