Congress flags issue of Gujarat turning into narcotics hub in run up to Assembly polls
The Congress has launched a website and toll-free number for the people of Gujarat to learn more about the issue and join its campaign against the menace of drug abuse in the state
With Gujarat slated to go for Assembly polls soon, the Congress party, which had lost to the BJP with a thin margin in 2017, has stepped up attacks on the state government on issues such as regular seizure of huge quantities of narcotics there.
“Gujarat has become a hub for the narcotics business,” said Congress general secretary KC Venugopal, who was in Gujarat on Wednesday to supervise the preparations for the forthcoming elections, while addressing a press conference in Ahmedabad.
“70 people died after consuming spurious liquor. Is this the Gujarat model of development BJP talks about?” the senior Congress leader said.
Besides exposing the hollowness of the ‘Gujarat model of development’, Congress leaders and its frontal organizations have launched vociferous campaigns on social media targeting BJP over the issue of seizure of drugs in the state.
The party recently launched a toll-free number and website (RejectDrugsRejectBJP.in) to highlight the issue.
“Gujarat is facing a huge drug problem. Every other day, drugs worth thousands of crores of rupees are caught in the state. Now the situation has reached such alarming proportions that factories manufacturing drugs are being caught operating in Gujarat. We all have seen what happened to the once very potent state of Punjab and how they lost their youth to the Drugs. Can we allow that to happen to Gujarat?” pointed out Congress on the website.
The Congress has been out of power for the last 27 years in Gujarat. This time, analysts believe, the party has bright chances of returning to power, the AAP’s entry into the fray notwithstanding.
Speaking to National Herald, Amit Chavada, former president of Gujarat unit of the Congress, held the BJP-led state government responsible for the drug menace and said the Congress will fight tooth and nail to uproot the menace.
“It is the responsibility of the Congress to free Bapu’s birthplace from drug lords working right under the nose of the BJP government,” he said.
Questioning the silence of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) and the ED, Chavada said, “The agencies go after only the small fish. The big fish are beyond their reach because powerful people from Delhi have provided a shield (to drug dealers and smugglers)”.
Without specifically naming PM Narendra Modi, he added, “Everybody knows about their (Modi and Adani) close links since 2000. This might be the reason that agencies are not taking any action”.
Chavada underscored that the fight against the drug menace will be one of the main poll planks of the grand old party in the state.
As per an estimate, drugs worth Rs 2.5 lakh crore have been seized in Gujarat in the last five years.
The Modi government has accepted in Parliament that from Mundra port alone, a total of 2,988.21 kg of heroin worth over Rs 20,000 crore was seized by the DRI last year in September.
Following an uproar, the matter was handed over to the NIA for investigation, which in March this year filed a chargesheet against 16 drug traffickers under the Narcotic Drugs & Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.
Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate, who undertook a tour of Gujarat two days ago, has questioned the alleged political patronage of drug dealers in the state
“Now drugs manufacturing companies have been unearthed in Gujarat. Gogo (a paper device used for inhaling drugs) is available at every pan shop, or with other kinds of vendors, in Gujarat. Aren’t Modi-Shah concerned about this threat to society?” she tweeted.
Published: 24 Aug 2022, 7:45 PM