Shiromani Akali Dal President and Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab Sukhbir Singh Badal (L).
Facing heat over drug menace in Punjab, the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today asked Centre to ban the "cultivation of narcotics" in other states like Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh in order to eliminate the problem.
Punjab government has appealed to the Centre to ban cultivation of narcotics like opium, poppy, ganja etc in other states so that drug abuse is put to an end, said the SAD President and Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal today, during his visit to the notified area committee Nathana in Bathinda.
"Country should know that Punjab is a victim of drug abuse. We are a rice and wheat producing state, unlike states like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh that draw huge economic gains of Rs 150 crore to Rs 200 crore by cultivating narcotics. How can a country have two laws that allow cultivation of drugs in one state and foodgrain in another," questioned Mr Badal.
Mr Badal blamed people with vested interests for defaming Punjab on the issue of drug abuse in the state.
He claimed that the drugs were coming from Pakistan and Afghanistan through international border and it was the responsibility of the Centre and Border Security Forces (BSF) to seal these borders to check its inflow into the state.
However, he said, Punjab Police had done a commendable job confiscating huge hauls of drugs and arresting many kingpins.
"We request the BSF to strengthen themselves for impenetrable borders. Center government should install ultra-modern technology and gadgets like CCTV cameras and sensors along with border that do not allow drugs to seep in," he added.
Asked about proposed sit-in on January 5, he said that the SAD was holding huge dharnas at all the three Punjab state borders including Fazilka, Ferozepur and Attari in Amritsar. To a query, he said the SAD was strongly against religious conversions.
"In India all religions have right to prosper and propagate. Religious conversions are a drama that should be stopped," he said.
Responding to a question on the SAD-BJP coalition, Mr Badal said that there was no threat to the strong coalition.