Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said today at a university in Chandigarh that "Seven out of 10 youth in Punjab have drug problems." (Comment)
He said "A diplomat told me that 21st century's Saudia Arabia is India."
Mr Gandhi elaborated. He said the diplomat had told him that just as the 20th century was dominated by Saudi Arabia because of its oil reserves, the 21s century belongs to India because of its young population and "human resources".
Mr Gandhi, wearing a white kurta
and jeans, said that the government in Punjab, run by the Akali Dal and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is not providing opportunities for the state's youth. "We send scholarship money for SC, ST (Scheduled Castes/Tribes) categories. It is not utilized here (in Punjab) and is sent back," he said.
"We want you to come into politics, cleanse it and change it," Mr Gandhi told Congress youth workers at the Punjab University campus in Chandigarh.
Reacting to Mr Gandhi's remarks on the drug problem in the state, Shiromani Akali Dal MP Naresh Gujral said, "I am not a mathematician like Mr Rahul Gandhi who after a flying visit to Punjab has discovered that 7 out of 10 children in Punjab are addicted to drugs."