Chandigarh, Sep 11: The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD ) chief Sukhbir Singh Badal on Sunday said the study by PGIMER on drug addiction in Punjab has exposed the “conspiracy of anti-Punjab forces”, which maligned the image of the state for their “petty political goals”.
In a statement, he said the comprehensive study, which was carried out in all 22 districts, had “exposed” the Congress as well as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
“The PGIMER report puts the entire number of addicts in the state at 2.70 lakh. Other reports, including that conducted by the AIIMS, have come out with even lower figures than this,” Badal said.
“Both the parties should now tell Punjabis why they branded them as drug addicts and tender an unconditional apology to the people of the state,” he said.
According to the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) study, conducted between 2015 and 2016, and released on Saturday (September 9), up to 2.70 lakh people in Punjab are addicted to narcotics like opium, heroin, poppy husk and synthetic drugs.
One in six people in the state were dependent on one substance or the other and their use is more common in rural areas, it said.The SAD chief said the survey listing drug addiction in Punjab at less than one per cent had “nailed the lie” of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi.
He said Gandhi had claimed in October 2012 that 70 per cent of the state’s youth were drug addicts.
“This despite knowing that he was reading out a sample survey of drug addicts of which youth formed a big share,” Badal said.
Hitting out at AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal, Badal said the Delhi chief minister and men had also claimed that 40 lakh youth of Punjab were drug addicts.
The “entire conspiracy” was hatched to counter the development narrative of the previous SAD-BJP government, he said.
“Though the Congress succeeded in its goal of forming government in Punjab, it caused incalculable damage to its people and its economy. Both the Congress and AAP played with the lives of the youth… It also dented the image of Punjab and Punjabis worldwide,” Badal claimed.
News Source: http://www.hindustantimes.com