Jalandhar: Accusing the Akali Dal government of providing protection to illicit drugs trade in Punjab, Rahul Gandhi on Monday said Congress party will help free the state of the menace by bringing in a new law and restore the money made by drug dealers to the victim families.
Addressing a dharna staged by the Congress here against the drugs menace, he also accused the Akalis of trying to set the film "Udta Punjab", which highlights the drugs problem in the state, banned and said they are not ready to admit the truth as they are "benefiting" from drugs and lawlessness.
"Those who have made money, big houses and robbed the youth of their money from this drugs trade, we will get that money back (from them) and return it to you. We will bring a law and deploy the police in the right manner to stop the menace.
"There is a monstrous enemy before you and it is ruining your life. We are with you and together we will fight this enemy and make a bright future for Punjab. We will together bring this state back on track," he said.
"I want to tell you that when Congress comes to power (after next elections), we shall fight against drugs the way we fought in the Bhatta Parsaul incident (where Congress launched an agitation against forcible land acquisition)," Gandhi said.
Rahul said that "if Punjab is to have a future, you will have to eradicate drugs and there is no other way."
Taking on SAD chief Sukhbir Badal, he said when he raised the issue of drugs four years ago, Badal made fun of him.
"Today, the film 'Udta Punjab' is being banned. Today also they are not ready to admit the truth, because they are benefiting from this. Everyday they benefit from this truth, from drugs and lawlessness in Punjab. Akali Dal and its leaders are benefiting from this. This work (of freeing Punjab from drugs) only Congress party can do. When we say the truth, they make fun of us. They say there is no drug problem, there is no law and order problem and neither any unemployment problem. Everything is ok. But this is not the truth and Punjab's future has been destroyed," he said.
Rahul said, "The hands and feet of Punjab's youth are chained and without breaking those chains, Punjab cannot move forward. Punjab's people will have to accept this truth and only then we can wage a war against drugs. Nothing will happen by hiding it. Punjab has the strength to recognise this truth as its people work with honesty and so does the Congress party....