Congress failed to curb drug abuse in 22 months, it promised to do in four weeks : SAD
Congress president Rahul Gandhi had estimated that over 70 percent of Punjab youth, which was in vicinity of 80 to 90 lakh youth, suffered from drug abuse on the eve of Punjab assembly polls nearly two years ago.
However, Congress government in Punjab have so far registered only 1.3 lakh drug addict so far and rely on the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) estimates of 2.5 lakh drug addicts. But the Congress in its manifesto mentioned reiterating Rahul’s estimate that 70 percent of Punjabi youth was drug addict.
Commenting on the difference of perception of the Congress party and the Congress government on prevalence of drug addiction, former minister and senior vice president of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) Maheshinder Singh Grewal said that it was the difference in estimate of drug addicts was “shocking and stunning”.
Grewal said that the Congress party had consciously magnified the problem of drug abuse 30 to 35 percent just to derive political mileage by putting the then ruling SAD-BJP dispensation in bad light that it had failed to control and deal with the problem.
“The SAD-BJP had never been in denial mode and always acknowledged its seriousness of drug menace but the Congress deliberately magnified the looming danger thirty times for political reasons.”, Grewal said adding that the SAD –BJP had been dealing with the menace with all seriousness while for Congress it was a mere poll issue.
In its manifesto, the Congress promised to abolish drug supply and drug consumption within four months but the ground reality is that even after 22 months of coming to power, the Congress government is nowhere near its goal, averred Grewal adding that by its own admission, the government had so far registered only 1.31 lakh addicts. Not to speak of rehabilitation of de-addicteds, Grewal said that the government has failed to give them proper treatment as nearly one fourth of the registered patients are not getting regular treatment.
Grewal said that after having failed to set up required “Out- patient Opioid Assisted Treatment (OOPT) clinics, the government in its wisdom tried to involve private sector which is fraught with dangers in absence of a adequate checks. The private sector clinics have a tendency to resorting to wrong treatment protocol. Moreover, the lack of proper infrastructure and qualified staff, including psychiatrists, has compounded the problem.
The SAD leader said the government has failed to curb the menace. Not to talk of rehabilitating the victims, the number if addicts seem to be rising as reports indicates that 60 persons had died in the first half of 2018 compared to corresponding period in the previous year.
However, he did not doubt the intention of all stake holders unlike Congress party which has highly politicized the socio-problem of drug abuse.