Chandigarh (PTI): The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Monday dismissed the claim of the Punjab government on putting an end to the drug menace in the state, terming it as “a brazen lie and a cover-up for failure”.

The party dared the Amarinder Singh government to release data of the number of addicts weaned away from drugs in the past six weeks.

SAD general secretary and MP Prem Singh Chandumajra said, “Before the elections, the Congress had claimed that 70 per cent of Punjabis were addicted to drugs. That comes to a whopping figure of about two crore ten lakh [21 million] Punjabis out of a population of roughly three crores [30 million]”.

Will the Congress tell us how many of these drug addicts have been brought back to a normal and respectable life and where are these two crore ten lakh Punjabis reformed by the government, he asked.

The fact is that no one in the government or the Congress party even uttered a single word about the drug problem in the first six weeks of their rule, he said.

Now, facing criticism from the SAD, they have cooked up up this lie, he added.

Chandumajra said the claim of Amarinder government is just a loud boast and an attempt to sidetrack criticism on its failures and inaction through misleading statements.

The SAD leader said that before the elections, both the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders defamed Punjab with daily hue and cry about the Punjabi youth falling prey to drugs.

“But once the elections were over, they forgot all about it,” he said.

The Akali leader said that the fact was that the Congress had in the first place vastly exaggerated the magnitude of the drug problem in the state during the SAD-BJP government.

Now, it is finding it hard to reconcile those allegations with ground reality, he said.

Thus, all they have done is to come up with a sweeping and totally unfounded claims about breaking the back of the drug problem, he said.

“Why are they not releasing data of the drug recoveries? They should share the details of these recoveries and compare these with the recoveries made during the SAD-BJP regime. Why are they not even giving figures of the number of youths freed from drug addiction?” said Chandumajra.