DW BUREAU / Chandigarh
SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Monday accused Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh of acting like an arrogant ‘Raja’, saying he should not “point fingers” at those who want to help in fighting the drug menace in the state. Badal’s remark came after Singh ridiculed his call for de-politicising the drugs and sacrilege issue as nothing but a “political gimmick”.
“Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh is acting like an arrogant ‘Raja’ (king) who could do no wrong by refusing cooperation from any political party to fight the scourge of drugs,” he said in a statement here.
The chief minister had also alleged that Badal had made the call to divert the people’s attention from his own role in “shamelessly” allowing both — drugs and incidents of sacrilege — to flourish during the SAD’s 10 years of misrule.
The SAD chief said, “I have observed restraint and tried to tell you to wake up from your slumber and take affirmative action (on drug issue).” “Instead of doing that, you have tried to deflect attention from your government’s abject failure by coming up with stunts like dope tests,” he said.
Badal, who had reportedly made an offer to join hands with the government to fight the drug menace, said the chief minister “should not point fingers at those who were trying to help Punjab”.
Reminding Singh that he had sworn by the holy ‘Gutka Sahib’ to eradicate drugs from Punjab within four weeks of assuming power, the he said, “It is amply clear that you failed to keep this promise.” “Now, when the SAD has offered to help you in this task you are treating the offer with arrogance instead of the seriousness it deserves,” the former deputy chief minister Badal said the SAD-BJP had never denied the problem of drugs in the state.
“In fact we had launched the war on drugs under the leadership of (former chief minister) Parkash Singh Badal and established drug de-addiction centres,” he said.