Congress to PM: Dump drug-tainted ally

Congress to PM: Dump drug-tainted ally

By: || Updated: 16 Dec 2014 02:54 AM
New Delhi: The Congress asked the Prime Minister to take concrete measures to counter the drug menace instead of indulging in lofty rhetoric. It said the first significant step should be to withdraw BJP support to Punjab's Akali Dal regime.

 

 

 

Congress spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed said it was ironical that Narendra Modi talked about the drug menace on Mann ki Baat, a radio programme, when his party was supporting the government in Punjab where three ministers' names had cropped up in connection with the drug trade.

 

"Don't talk in air, take concrete steps. If you are serious, withdraw your support to the Akali government," he said.

 

The Congress's Punjab unit chief, Pratap Singh Bajwa, dared Modi to dismiss the Parkash Singh Badal regime if he was serious about fighting the drug menace.

 

He issued a statement demanding a CBI probe into the Punjab drug racket, and asked chief minister Badal and deputy Sukhbir Badal if they would condemn Modi like they did Rahul Gandhi when he highlighted the problem.

 

The statement said: "Punjab is the only state where the names of certain ministers have surfaced in drug smuggling and one of them had to resign. However, no action was taken against others.

 

"What was happening in Punjab was a direct threat to the national security as it was the state government which was aiding and abetting drug smuggling. The Enforcement Directorate was ready with the investigations but awaiting political signal as the person on the list of those to be questioned included a powerful minister."

 

The Congress deputy leader in the Lok Sabha, Capt. Amarinder Singh, asked Modi to be action-oriented. He said: "The Prime Minister must set the agenda and tell the nation what he plans to do and not just what should be done."

 

Appreciating Modi's concern, he said: "Who can feel the pain more than us in Punjab where an entire generation has been threatened? It is good that the issue has attracted the attention of the Prime Minister and I hope that Mann ki Baat will be taken to its logical conclusion."

 

Singh said: "We need a national drug policy as different states have different laws. In Madhya Pradesh opium can be grown, while in Rajasthan it can be traded and a neighbouring state like Punjab becomes a fertile market." Both Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan are ruled by the BJP.

 

He said there were multiple aspects to the supply and availability of drugs. "There were those coming from Pakistan and Afghanistan, those coming from Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan and also produced locally for a cheap price. Narco-terrorism is only one of the aspects of the problem that the Prime Minister touched on," he said.

 

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