Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh

Not in favour of growing opium: Punjab CM

ANI | Updated: Oct 04, 2018 17:01 IST

New Delhi [India], Oct 4 (ANI): Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday turned down the proposal of legalising opium cultivation and underscored that a special force has been set up to clamp down on drug menace.
Suspended Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Dharamvir Gandhi had suggested the idea which was subsequently backed by Culture and Tourism minister Navjot Singh Sidhu.
Speaking to the media following his meeting with Union Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan here, Singh said: "I am not in favour of growing anything. We are against the concept of drugs. We are fighting it like anything. I have created a special force to deal with it, whether it is heroin or opium. I am against it (the proposal) and Punjab will not do it."
Singh's comments came after Gandhi had earlier demanded the legalisation of opium production sale and consumption.
Sidhu backing Gandhi said, "Dharamvir Gandhi is doing a very good thing, I support him. My uncle used to take opium as a medicine and lived a long life."
On Monday, the chief minister reiterated the need for a national drug policy to save the young generation from the drug menace. A comprehensive formula is needed at the central level to effectively check drug abuse, he had underlined.
In July, the Punjab Chief Minister had ordered a mandatory dope test for all government employees, as part of a slew of measures taken to eliminate drug menace from Punjab. Singh had also formally communicated his cabinet's recommendation to the Centre seeking an amendment to the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act to provide death penalty to those guilty, including first-time offenders. (ANI)

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