Chandigarh, Setting a precedent, Punjab’s AAP MLA Aman Arora on Thursday underwent a dope test and dared Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to lead by example and get such a test done on himself, his Cabinet members and ruling Congress MLAs.
“The Aam Aadmi Party will support any progressive steps by the state to curb drugs problem in Punjab. But it would have been better if the Chief Minister had started the dope test with himself, his Ministers and (Congress) legislators,” Arora told the media after undergoing a dope test at the Civil Hospital in Mohali, 10 km from here.
The Sunam MLA’s action comes a day after Amarinder Singh ordered mandatory dope tests for all government employees, including police, from the time of their recruitment through every stage of their service.
“It is a matter of shame that elected representatives have to undergo ethical challenges like dope testing just because there is a big-time nexus between politicians and police officers with the drugs mafia… I appeal to everyone — from panchayat members to the Chief Minister — to undergo the dope test,” Arora added.
“When he had to seek votes (for the Congress), Amarinder Singh held a ‘Gutka Sahib’ in his hand and took a pledge to wipe out drugs and drug mafia from Punjab within four weeks of coming to power. But even after over one year, nothing has been done by his government to curb the drug rackets,” the AAP legislator said.
He said that the drugs problem will not be curbed till the Congress government showed the commitment to deal with politicians and police officials involved with the mafia behind these activities.
Punjab AAP Co-President Balbir Singh also asked the Chief Minister, and Shiromani Akali Dal chief and former Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal to take the lead and get their dope tests done.
Congress leader Manish Tewari welcomed the move.
“Dope tests on government servants for recruitment/promotions as proposed by the Punjab government is a welcome step. Must be made mandatory for all MLAs and MPs from the state,” Tewari, a former Union Minister, tweeted.
“It would not only set an example but also remove any unreasonable classification between two classes of public servants.”
Punjab is facing the brunt of rampant drugs abuse, especially among the youth and rural population.
The Punjab opposition is questioning the Congress government for not doing enough to eradicate the drug menace from the state.