The Congress party’s dedication towards curbing the drugs menace in Punjab appears to be as credible as Rahul Gandhi’s leadership. After much hue and cry were raised by the party regarding the drug crisis ahead of the Assembly elections in 2017, all the enthusiasm appears to have run out of steam two and a half years later.
In a video that has reportedly gone viral in Punjab, which was apparently released by the PR department inadvertently, some Cabinet Ministers in the Congress Punjab government were seen engaging in banter while referring to opium (drugs) as “kali dawayi” (black medicine). The video reportedly shows the Ministers casually talking about the drug.
A senior Minister from Malwa is said to be clarifying to Chief Minister Amrinder Singh his position on the use of Opium. Another Minister, also from Malwa, is heard telling the former that he would have to get the drug from Rajasthan. Then a third Minister, again from Malwa, asks him where could he get it from. Then the Minister who initiated the discussion listed the benefits of the drug, which triggered a round of laughter.
The Congress government in Punjab is now being attacked by both the Aam Aadmi Party and Shiromani Akali Dal over the video. “The casual manner in which the Ministers are seen talking about drugs in the video is unfortunate. It only shows their non-seriousness towards the drugs problem. Also, the talks reveal that Ministers were aware of where opium is available,” Leader of Opposition in Punjab Assembly and senior AAP leader Harpal Singh Cheema said on Thursday, according to The Hindu.
“The menace of drugs continues unabated in the State while the Congress is in deep slumber. A sitting judge of High Court should investigate the matter related to drugs menace and it should take cognizance of the Cabinet meeting video,” he added. Shiromani Akali Dal senior leader and former Minister Daljeet Singh Cheema said, “They have been exposed before the public through this video and public is the best judge. Such a casual discussion on a serious issue of drugs by Ministers shows that the government is not concerned about eradicating the drugs menace.”
The Drug Crisis in Punjab was the talk of the town ahead of elections, especially after the movie Udta Punjab featuring Shahid Kapoor as the lead was released. The ruling BJP-SAD government had to face a lot of flak for the drug crisis in the state. Since then, however, not much appears to have improved and the drug crisis has apparently been reduced to a joke.