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Badal urges Centre to curb drug menace

Dehradun: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today asked the Centre to take effective steps to curb drug trafficking going on through Pakistan, Afghanistan and Rajasthan.

Reacting to Rahul Gandhi's recent remarks that 70 per cent of the youths in Punjab were drug addicts, Badal said drug addiction was a national problem caused by widespread unemployment which could be combated only by the Centre's intervention.

Most of the powers in this regard are confined in the Centre's hands and if the federal system is strengthened and more powers are vested in the states the problem of drug addiction could be overcome, he said.

He said as the country's frontiers are guarded by BSF, the Centre is in a better position to rein in drug trafficking being carried out through Pakistan, Afghanistan and Rajasthan.

The drug trafficking takes place due to the connivance of BSF personnel, he alleged.

"Poppy husk is grown in Rajasthan and trafficked to neighbouring Punjab often with the connivance of BSF personnel," Badal said and urged the Centre to take necessary step to control the problem.

He also asked all political parties to come together on the issue of strengthening the federal structure which will go a long way in tackling the menace.

Badal, who was here to sign an agreement with the Forest Research Institute here, said he was against FDI in multi- brand retail as it would harm the interest of small shopkeepers.

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