Chandigarh May 3 – The Shiromani Akali Dal  today today took a jibe at the Congress government in the state, saying that the problem in the state was not “Udta Punjab” but  Udti Congress” and the “Udte Claims”  of the state Government”, which was refusing to face ground realities. The SAD   said  the Cong government’s   “competence  and sincerity” on the drug issue stood fully exposed by the severe reprimand it received today in the  observations of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. 

    “Media reports as well as proceedings in the honoruable High Court today    clearly showed  that contrary to the pre-poll AAP and Congress allegations of   ‘Udta Punjab’, it is the Congress party and its government whose  claims   on the drug and other issues in Punjab were going up in smoke .  Their “Udta” Vice President Rahul Gandhi had   claimed that  70{8b74c281e81d13d5589ca31f8c6e262f8cd377fe97a37d4f6b91c3c18adf8066} Punjabis were  drug addicts but now in government, the Congress is faced with the cruel  consequence of “a legacy of  smoking lies.” 
    The state government has even been advised in the HC observations  to come down to earth  and “not to spread its wings if it cannot manage” the flight in its fight against drugs. . The informal judicial observations have even referred to the lack of “competence” in the Punjab government  in handling the sensitive problem”  said Mr Balwinder Singh Bhunder, General Secretary of the SAD,

  In a statement here, Mr Bhunder  also ridiculed the government’s  response to SAD’s demand for full details of the number of drug addicts persuaded by the state government to seek help for de-addiction and rehabilitation.  Mr Bhunder referred to “bluffs and good ups” of the state government on the issue and said, “ Instead of giving a truthful reply, the government spokesman merely tried to evade the issue by claiming that it takes years for drug addicts to be fully cured.  Everyone knows  how long it takes for a drug addict to be fully cured. What the people want to know the number of  drug addicts whom the government has started   working on in fighting addiction.  Does it take years even to  gather this information?  How can they solve the problem if they don’t  have details on its  magnitude?’ asked Mr Bhunder , adding that the official spokesperson in fact knew that the ruling  party was caught lying on the claim of 70{8b74c281e81d13d5589ca31f8c6e262f8cd377fe97a37d4f6b91c3c18adf8066} Punjabis being drug addicts.  “The SAD maintains that the Congress and AAP defamed Punjab, especially its youth ,  by grossly exaggerating the magnitude of the problem and the Congress government was now ashamed to admit that. Hence the lies, “ said Mr Bhunder.
  The Akali leader said that the pathetic plight of the government’s claims is clear from the fact that it was now claiming credit for the achievements of the SAD-BJP government in this war on drugs. Also, in comparing the comparative data, the government spokesperson used a period in the previous regime when the drive against drugs had not been launched as a formal “war.”

  The Akali leader further said that the Congress merely used the drug problem as a publicity stunt to mislead the people during the election campaign. Now both the Congress has suddenly stopped talking about drugs except when they are corned by us on the issue .  We have forced them to speak at last. But they have resorted to fresh lies now. This will not be allowed to go unchallenged,” said Mr Bhunder.
  .     The Akali leader said that the   non-seriousness of the government on the issue was clear from its failure to send even the basic information on the drug lords whom it wanted to get extradited to India from other countries. The SAD leader cited the example  of Harbans Sidhu and Madan Lal on whom the government had failed to send even details of date of birth and their identity pictures, inviting severe reprimand in HC observations during the hearing of the case today.
 Mr Bhunder advised the Congress party to treat the drug issue as more than a mere PR battle. “They know their bluff is  being called. They are caught in a clift stick, not knowing whether to stickto the old figure of 70{8b74c281e81d13d5589ca31f8c6e262f8cd377fe97a37d4f6b91c3c18adf8066} or to merely fudge figures and claim credit for an already  on going battle against drugs. The Congress govt is utterly confused on the issue and, not surprisingly, so is their strategy,” concluded Mr Bhunder.

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