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BJP must seek CBI probe into drug smuggling: Bajwa

Chandigarh: Welcoming the candid admission by the Bharatiya Janata Party state President, Mr. Kamal Sharma, that the drug trade could not flourish without political patronage, the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee President, Mr. Partap Singh Bajwa, today said the party should take the next logical step and press for CBI probe to investigate the roots of this menace. The BJP had only endorsed what the Congress had been saying all along. In a statement here, he recalled that the Congress had demanded CBI investigation into the drug smuggling in Punjab as the name of the Revenue Minister, Mr. Bikram Singh Majithia, had surfaced following the revelation by former cop turned smuggler Jagdish Bhola. He said it was the BJP which was ruling at the centre and the party was the alliance partner of the Akali Dal in Punjab. Under the given situation, it was incumbent upon the saffron party to get the racket investigated by the CBI after admitting that the drug menace was the biggest issue in the Lok Sabha elections and the racket had the political patronage. Mr. Bajwa also supported Mr. Sharma in his observation that the blame game would not do any good as the synthetic drugs being consumed in the state were being manufactured here and not being smuggled from across the border. Moreover, with the BJP government coming into power at the centre, the Akali Dal could not blame the laxity by the Border Security Force for smuggling. He recalled that it was the election promise of the Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi, during the poll campaign to rid Punjab of the drug menace as the party had realised the gravity of the problem even before election. He said as Mr. Sharma’s comments amounted to strong indictment of the Parkash Singh Badal government, the BJP must come out of the government in Punjab rather than being a partner of the Akali Dal in this crime against society for which the people would not forgive them. He said this was the major reason that contributed to the defeat of the party stalwart, Mr. Arun Jaitley, from Amritsar. In his defeat, the people had registered their protest against political patronage to drug smuggling by the local minister. The PPCC chief said with the BJP coming out openly against political patronage to drug smuggling, the options of the Chief Minisrer, Mr. Parkash Singh Badal, had been closed and he now must act against the political leaders whose names have been mentioned repeatedly in this crime. The resignation by Mr. Sarwan Singh Phillaur from the cabinet was not enough. He said the political leaders under whose patronage this racket was flourishing were committing crime against the people of Punjab and playing with the future of the state and such people must be sacked from the cabinet. He called upon the BJP to do ahead with the CBI investigation and come out of the government in case the party was really sincere about eradicating the menace of drugs from the state otherwise the people would not pardon this party. The BJP had already tasted humiliation in the defeat of Mr. Jaitley despite the Modi wave which swept the party to power at the centre with unprecedented mandate, he added.
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