Drug mafia still an issue in Punjab: Sisodia

Drug mafia still an issue in Punjab: Sisodia

AAP won't hesitate in naming those involved

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia. PTI Photo

Senior AAP leader and Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Saturday said drug mafia is still an issue in Punjab and the party will not hesitate in naming those involved in it.

During the assembly elections last year, AAP had made the drug trade a major poll issue.

To a question, Sisodia said, "Drug mafia is still an issue in Punjab... I am telling you that (illegal) mining is an issue, the drug is an issue and the party is fighting against these issues."

"Whichever (drug) mafia comes (before us), we will take names. We will take names of all those (involved in drugs)," he told reporters while answering a barrage of questions on Kejriwal's apology to Akali leader Bikram Singh Majithia.

Sisodia, who is also the party's Punjab affairs in-charge, said, "Our party is fighting against drug mafia. The stand of mine or Arvind Kejriwal on (SAD leader Bikram Singh) Majithia is not relevant. Rather the stand of the Amarinder Singh-led government on Majithia is relevant."

"You (media) should ask the government why it did not put drug mafia behind the bars. Tendering an apology by Kejriwal or not seeking apology does not lead to the arrest of drug mafia," he said.

Sisodia's statement assumes significance against the backdrop of Kejriwal tendering an apology to Majithia in March for accusing him of being involved in drugs trade during the Assembly polls. The AAP national convener's apology had pushed the state unit of the party into a crisis after many state leaders expressed disappointment and condemned the move.

Terming Kejriwal's apology a part of the AAP's strategy, he claimed that according to the feedback of party workers, people of Punjab had clearly understood the party's strategy.

"Wherever we are active, our issue is farmers and we want to fight for farmers whose crop got damaged because of fire caused by the electric wire. We want to fight for those people whose children study in government schools and those who were being looted by paying a hefty fee to private schools. It was part of our strategy," he said.

"People in Punjab are upset with corruption and loss of crop because of fire. People of Punjab are not upset with Kejriwal's apology," he said.

To a question on Sukhpal Khaira expressing disappointment over Kejriwal's apology to Majithia, Sisodia said, "It is the party's internal democracy and we respect everybody's viewpoint."

He also said the party has not accepted the resignation of Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann from the post of AAP's Punjab unit chief.

Asserting that the party had analyzed its weakness that led to its drubbing in assembly polls last year, Sisodia said, "We know what were our weaknesses and we have improved our party by analysing them."

Lauding the role of the state leadership including the leader of the opposition for playing an effective role of the main opposition party in Punjab, he said, "Because AAP raised an issue, the Amarinder Singh government had to drop his one minister from the cabinet. The AAP, being in opposition, will raise every important issue in the state."

Earlier, Sisodia held a meeting with state leadership of AAP, including the MLAs, and also inaugurated the party's state office at Mohali.