Cong defends Rahul remarks, waves Punjab govt affidavit on drug addicts
Coming to the defence of AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi who has been under attack from Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leaders for his remarks about 7 out of 10 youth in Punjab being addicted to drugs, the Congress on Friday cited the state government's 2009 affidavit to Punjab and Haryana High Court to validate his claims.
The ruling party at the Centre also demanded an apology from SAD leaders for making "uncharitable, undignified and uncalled for" remarks against Rahul.
While Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal had termed Rahul's remarks as an insult to the youth, Harcharan Bains, adviser to the Chief Minister, had called him a "national joke" for his remarks during his visit to the state on Thursday.
"The tragedy of Punjab is that we lost an entire generation to terror. Today we are in danger of losing an entire generation to psychotropic substance and drug abuse. They (SAD-BJP regime) have a responsibility to act. They should apologise for the uncharitable, undignified and uncalled for remarks. They should thank Rahul Gandhi for once again flagging the issue for their attention," said AICC spokesman and Ludhiana MP Manish Tewari at a press briefing.
He circulated copies of Punjab government's affidavit to the High Court in 2009, which had stated that the whole state was "in the grip of drug hurricane" and "approximately 7 out of 10" college-going students abuse one or the other drug. "The vibrant Punjab that had ushered in the green revolution is today living in dazed stupor as 67 per cent of the rural household in the state have at least one drug addict. Drug addiction has become a stigma that belies claims of prosperity in the state... . We are in danger of losing young generation... . As per survey conducted by Prof Sandhu (2006), drug addiction in Punjab is 70 per cent," stated the affidavit submitted by the SAD-BJP governemnt.
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