Addressing an anti-drug rally in Punjab's Jalandhar on Monday, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi has reportedly said his party can end the drug menace in the state in one month if it comes to power. His posturing comes just months ahead of the Punjab Assembly elections, and days after the controversy surrounding the Hindi film "Udta Punjab," whose censoring had led the BJP-led central government being slammed from all quarters.
According to an NDTV report, Rahul also said the state's law and order situation had collapsed, and it was plagued by unemployment.
He was also quoted as saying that the Punjab government does not allow honest policemen to do their work — in a jab at the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal and BJP coalition. The police need to be given a free hand, which, when done, could lead to the end of the drug menace in the state in just four weeks, he reportedly said.
Rahul's posturing before the Assembly elections in Punjab in early 2017 assume greater significance in light of the "Udta Punjab" controversy. The yet-to-be-released Hindi film had hogged the limelight recently when the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) apparently asked its makers to enact a massive number of cuts in it.
CBFC may have now green-lit the film with an "A" certificate and 13 cuts, but its initial decision was viewed by many, including the Congress, as having been influenced by the BJP-led central government, which was apparently looking to not antagonise voters in Punjab. The Congress has first-hand experience of this phenomenon with Gulzaar's "Maachis."