November 20, 2013 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Chandigarh/ New Delhi (November 20, 2013): It is learnt that a delegation consisting of Gurtej Singh IAS, Retd, Lt. Gen Retd. Kartar Singh Gill, Advocate Harpal Singh Cheema, Ashok Kapur, Bhai Baldeep Singh, Amarbir Singh and Shashi Kant IPS, Retd called on Mr. Alok Shukla, Additional Election Commissioner of India (ECI) in New Delhi, the officer designated by the C.E.C., on November 18th, 2013. The latter could not meet because of his pre-occupation with the forthcoming elections in Delhi and other places.
As per information the purpose of meeting was to inform the commission about the ‘open and rampant availability and use of drugs and intoxicants, besides the use of drug money, during elections in Punjab and the urgent need for its adequate monitoring by the election commission, more so during the forthcoming general elections to be held in Punjab shortly, this has to be ensured by the commission as per constitutional and legal mandate. The petition was submitted in accordance with the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Chandigarh.
Before submitting the memorandum, copies of which have already been mailed to all the esteemed friends from the print and the electronic media, the delegation went to the Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, to pray for the ‘ Chardi Kala’ of the Punjab and the Punjabis and an end to the scourge of drug menace and drug addiction in Punjab.
Members of the delegation gave a detailed account of the drug menace in the state because of which an entire generation of youth is being killed by the drug smugglers, their henchmen and the protectors, including some politicians. It is no less than an ongoing genocide of an entire race of the youth.
They also highlighted the involvement of a number of leaders belonging to all the political parties of Punjab, who are either themselves involved in the drug trade or are being giving protection in lieu of the money.
The use of drug money, the current phase of Narco Politics, in the state of Punjab was also highlighted. Both drugs and drug money is being used by all the political parties for political purposes all along, particularly in each of the elections being held in the state, right from Panchayat to the Lok Sabha elections.
It was brought to the notice of the Election Commission that in the coming months, the drug trade in Punjab is likely to rise many fold because of the onset of forthcoming general elections. It is because the drug money is required for electoral purposes, to prop up and buy the candidates, forge electoral alliances as also to purchase the votes. For the latter both the drugs and drug money is required.
The election commission gave a very patient hearing and agreed with our submissions. The E.C. stated that they already have reports to this effect. He took out old reports about the recovery of intoxicants and drugs as also the money seized during the previous elections. The figures and reports quoted by him were horrifying. He revealed that after the 2012 assembly elections in Punjab, the then C.E.C had written a personal D.O. letter to the prime minister of India regarding the prevalence of drugs in Punjab and their open and blatant use during elections. He asked if the state and other concerned machineries had come in to anti drug operations mode after the sought intervention of the prime minister of India. The E.C. was informed by the delegation that no such action was taken by any government agency, either the state or the central, in the aftermath of the 2012 elections. He expressed surprise and shock at this revelation. The E.C. was informed that of late the police has indeed come into action but that probably is on account of the intervention of the Punjab and Haryana high court and the antidrug drives launched by the activists belonging to various independent outfits. The state government has to submit their reply to the court before December 11th, the next date of hearing. They have to ‘show’ some action. It was further brought to the notice of the commission that though the state police claims to have arrested some one thousand odd “smugglers’ but in fact they all are either small time peddlers or guys ‘fixed up’ on account of ‘political reasons’. An earlier unheard thing called ‘white power’, which is nothing but a grinded mixture of synthetic medicinal drugs is generally used to fix up the political rivals at lower levels. Yes the ‘price catch’ has been Bhola, a well known drug smuggler and an ex police official, who should have been arrested long back. Any how the interrogation of this person has brought to the fore and confirmed our assertion that the politicians are themselves behind and are associated / patronising the drug smuggelrs and that the drug money is being used for political purposes, particularly during the elections. The current phase of narco politics is proved beyond doubt.
The E.C. agreed to our proposal of deputing, to the extent possible, and manning of the elections by the central para military forces as also the police forces from other states to during the Lok Sabha elections in Punjab. He further agreed to take the help of the N.C.B., E.D., C.B.I., B.S.F., customs and other central agencies to closely monitor the Punjab elections.
The delegation brought to his notice the recent press report that the political parties of Manipur had jointly agreed to oppose the use of the deadly synthetic drug called ICR/METH/CRYSTAL which, incidentally is manufactured in bulk in Punjab and which is a well known fact now. The political parties of Punjab also need to come to some such understanding at the instance of the E.C.I. and oppose drugs. The election commissioner expressed his doubt at the success of the E.C.I., on its own, in this regards but the delegation promised him to start creating awareness on this issue and the R.C. expressed his happiness saying that this will make their task easy.
The E.C. agreed to open ‘Help Lines’ all over Punjab where people could provide information about the distribution of drugs and drug money during elections. The identity of such informers shall be kept secret, he stated.
The delegation pressed for the need of the “dope test” of the politicians and members of the elected and nominated members, hailing from Punjab, to the legislative councils and the parliament because a large number of our so-called leaders belonging to various political parties themselves are addicts. Their dope test should include random examination of their urine and hair samples. Though the E.C. did not react to the proposal but we, the anti drug activists intend to create an awareness on the issue and if the need be, even move the court in this regard since we can not leave our future in the hands of the ‘addicts’ and a large number of our leaders are known to be addicts themselves.
The E.C, promised to remain in touch with the delegation and asked us to keep the election commission updated and informed, all along.
The commission was again reminded by the delegation that it is a constitutional and a statutory body entrusted with the task of holding free and fair elections and if it fails to ensure its basic statutory duty then its own existence becomes unconstitutional and it needs to be scrapped altogether for its miserable and painful failure.
To conclude we also proposed a pledge for all political parties and its leaders against the use and distribution of drugs and alcohol to lure the voters as it would work as a two edged sword.
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