Punjab MLA, minister volunteer for dope test

Punjab MLA, minister volunteer for dope test

AAP MLA Aman Arora also challenged Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to take the test and set an example for everyone. 

In a state which is notorious for narcotics trade and drug addicts, its legislators and ministers are showing the way by volunteering to undergo a dope test.

At least one Punjab cabinet minister in the Congress-ruled state and another Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA on Thursday drove down to a civil hospital here to undergo a dope test.

The initiative could possibly have a domino effect on other Punjab MLA’s across party lines who may follow the suit. The developments unfolded days after the Punjab government announced that it was recommending the death penalty for drug peddlers and smugglers found guilty of the crime.

AAP MLA Aman Arora underwent his dope test at the civil hospital in Mohali on Thursday. He also became the first legislator, perhaps in the entire country, to undergo such a test voluntarily.

He also challenged Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to take the test and set an example for everyone. 

Punjab cabinet minister Tripat Bajwa also reached the hospital for a dope test. But could not be tested as he was on medication and doctors asked him to come some other day. 

This week, the chief minister directed his office to denote modalities to make dope test mandatory for all government employees.

Former Union minister and senior Congressman Manish Tiwari welcomed the move. “Dope test for government employees is a welcome step. But it must be made mandatory for all MLA’s and MP’s from the state. It would not only set an example but unreasonable classification between two classes of public servants may not meet a test of law,” Tiwari tweeted.

The drug menace in Punjab had assumed alarming proportions, which is why the army too had earlier made a dope test mandatory for aspirants wanting to join the military. This was done to weed out the possibility of a drug addict making way into the armed forces.

In Punjab, a dope test is also mandatory for applicants seeking a renewal of a gun license. A dope test is also mandatory for jail inmates. It is estimated that nearly 47% of jail inmates in Punjab are addicted to some or the other form of a drug.

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