The Bold Voice of J&K

Narco power

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Money and muscle playing a major role in electioneering has been a common but emergence of narcotics commonly called ‘Chitta’ in Punjab is a matter of concern. Chitta or white is a colloquial reference to powdered drugs such as heroin has become a major embarrassment for Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) Government, as Chief Minister and party supremo Parkash Singh Badal is being referred to as “Chitta Raavan” by the opposition Congress. The issue escalated to another level after Congress leaders started burning effigies of “Chitta Raavan” while blaming senior SAD of promoting and providing patronage to the drug and liquor mafia in state. With the assembly elections slated to take place in the first half of next year, the BJP’s top leadership at the Centre is keen to be seen as taking a tough stand on the menace, an issue being used by the Aam Aadmi Party and Congress in a bid to make electoral inroads. The role of narcotics as a fund raiser came to prominence after the Pak-supported terrorists attack on Pathankot Air Force Station and its nexus with law enforcing agency with a suspected involvement of a senior police officer of the border district of Punjab. This is for the first time Election Commission has taken a serious note of the narco power and its influence on people during the elections and is planning to float special task force (STF) to check the menace’s influence on the electioneering which is scheduled for the next year. Surprisingly it was much before its stunning return to power in 2012, the ruling SAD declared a war on drugs. Party president Sukhbir Singh Badal’s promise to rid the state of the menace, and the taint associated with narcotics abuse, put the Akalis back in the saddle. Ironically, the crackdown backfired for the Akalis in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The drug issue is back to the spotlight as the state heads for another election. This time, the AAP sniffs an opportunity as wary Akalis look to revive the steam in their campaign against drugs, while a confused Congress hopes for a comeback from a decade in the wilderness.

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