Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday held Pakistan responsible for the drug menace in Punjab even as he lashed out at opposition parties for "defaming" the entire state on the issue. Anyone who tries to encourage drug trade in Punjab will not be spared and taught a lesson, he said.
"If India has become self-sufficient in terms of foodgrains, then Punjab's contribution is on the top. But, these people (opposition) are trying to defame Punjab, not just within the state, but even abroad where they say that Punjabi youth is taking drugs and is an addict," Rajnath said while addressing a series of election rallies for BJP-SAD in Abohar, Fazilka and Ferozepur on Tuesday.
Punjab goes to polls on February 4 and opposition Congress and AAP have made drug problem a major poll issue, blaming SAD-BJP government for its failure to check the menace. Rajnath said the opponents are blaming the government for drug menace which is not right. He said he wants to ask such people does youth in Punjab only indulge in taking drugs.
"Taking drug is not a good thing, anyone can fall in this menace, but you cannot defame entire state and its youth like this. This has to be stopped and effective steps need to be taken. Our neighbouring country Pakistan is definitely doing 'gadbad' (mischief) on this (drug issue)," Rajnath said.
"As the country's Home Minister, I want to assure that you vote back SAD-BJP to power, no matter how big a power that may be, I promise you, anyone who tries to encourage drug trade in Punjab will not be spared and taught a lesson. No one can stop me, no matter how big that person may be," he said.
He said that he wants to appeal to social organisations to come forward, that even if some youths have fallen prey to this menace, efforts should be made to take such youths away from drugs. "But not that you defame (hitting at opposition) youth of entire Punjab like this. Our youth cannot be defamed," the Union Home Minister said. "What our neighbouring country is doing with India, you are well aware about that. From time to time, it keeps doing one thing or the other," Rajnath added