Chandigarh, Sep 11, 2017: Punjab's opposition Akali Dal on Sunday said that latest findings of PGIMER survey listing drug addiction in the state at less than a per cent had yet again nailed the "anti-Punjab conspiracy" of Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal and demanded they apologise to the people.
"The latest comprehensive survey which was carried out in all 22 districts as well as 22 villages in each district, had exposed the anti-Punjab conspiracy of Rahul Gandhi and his team as well as that of AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal," SAD President Sukhbir Singh Badal said in a statement here.
"Both leaders and their parties should now tell Punjabis why they branded them as drug addicts and tender an unconditional apology to the people of the state."
Claiming that the "entire conspiracy was hatched to counter the development narrative of the previous SAD-BJP government", Badal said though the Congress had succeeded in its goal of achieving power in Punjab, it had caused incalculable damage to its people and its economy.
"Both Congress and AAP played with the lives of the youth and made them virtually unhireable. The image distortion also dented the image of Punjab and Punjabis worldwide," he said.
Highlighting Rahul Gandhi's "nefarious role in this sordid chapter of Punjab politics", Badal said he was "definitely the villain-in-chief".
"Rahul uttered an utter lie to reap political mileage for his flagging party by claiming in October 2012 at a NSUI function in Chandigarh that 70 per cent of the state's youth were drug addicts.
"This despite the fact that he knew well that he was reading out a sample survey of drug addicts of which youth formed a big share," he said.
"During the Punjab assembly campaign this year, he insisted he was speaking the truth and even had the gall to ask Punjabis to admit they were drug addicts. Such behaviour coming from the chosen scion of the Gandhi dynasty is shameful," he added.
A survey done by a team of doctors and researchers of the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research had revealed that drugs abuse in Punjab was just around one per cent of the 2.8 crore population in the state.
Badal said that Aam Aadmi Party leader Kejriwal and "his gang of outsiders had also tried to doom the future of the youth by claiming 40 lakh youth were drug addicts".
"The PGIMER report puts the entire number of addicts in the state at 2.7 lakh. Other reports, included that conducted by AIIMS, had come out with even lower figures than this," he added.
A detailed survey by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi had put the drug addiction at 0.84 per cent.
"The Punjab government also got a dope test conducted on 3.76 lakh youth who presented themselves for police recruitment. The test, which was conducted by the Baba Farid Health Sciences University, saw only 1.27 per cent candidates testing positive," Badal said, citing a survey done during the Akali government last year. (IANS)