BJP raises drug abuse issue in HP polls

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Haroli: The drug abuse problem is being raked up by BJP in poll rallies in Haroli, which falls in Una district. The party candidate has even put up posters and banners at many places in the constituency seeking people’s support to make Haroli free from the menace of “drugs, mafia and goonda raj”.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is scheduled to address a poll rally near here tomorrow to bolster party’s campaign for the November 9 election.

However,Industry minister Mukesh Agnihotri claims it is an non-existent issue “being created by the opposition”. He attacks the BJP, accusing it of trying to defame Haroli constituency over abuse of “chitta” (drugs). He asks the people to counter the “BJP propaganda”, saying no girl will marry youths from the area as they will think that they are drug addicts.

 Agnihotri, who also holds the key portfolios of Information, Parliamentary Affairs and Labour, is up against BJP’s Prof Ram Kumar, a former college lecturer whom he defeated in the 2012 polls by a margin of over 4,500 votes.

“We are contesting on development and welfare agenda, but when the BJP realised they cannot counter us on this, they have started to create non-existent issues like drugs,” he told.

Agnihotri, who won for the first time way back in 2003, talks about the development works undertaken in his constituency including opening of three degree colleges, two ITIs, setting up of two industrial areas, a Rs 922-crore Swan river channelisation project, medium irrigation scheme and upcoming food park.

“They (BJP) cannot counter us on development agenda, which is why they are running a negative campaign. They are building their campaign on lies, but they cannot befool people who will bring back the Congress again,” he says.