When Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke about nasha (intoxication) in his monthly radio address, Mann Ki Baat, in November, many political pundits had felt that his comments may have landed the BJP’s ally, the Akali Dal in a spot of bother. That’s largely because several Akali leaders have been accused of promoting the drug and liquor culture in the state.
Modi had said, “when I went to Punjab there several mothers met me, they were expressing great anger, great pain (about drugs)… Intoxication takes you to a dark alleyway. It brings you to the brink of disaster. ”
Among those who had termed Modi’s comments on nasha rhetorical were not just political parties but they also included NGOs working with the victims in the state.
Former Punjab DGP (prisons) Shashi Kant, who also leads an NGO against drugs, had said that Modi’s comments sounded like a talk for public consumption.
He was quoted by Times of India, “Around a month ago, I wrote to three of them and offered that I was ready to provide all the information even in the form of affidavit if they wanted revealing names of the drug lords, including politicians and police officers, and they can form a Special Investigation Team, but they did not respond.”
Now a video (watch below) of BJP workers allegedly distributing liquor in Punjab has gone viral on social media platforms giving credence to allegations of hypocrisy by activists and BJP’s political rivals. What’s even more embarrassing for Modi is the fact that a patriotic song is being played in the background even as the supporters of the saffron party were busy having a good time with free flowing alcohol.
The news was picked up by a local Punjabi TV channel even though it doesn’t state the date of the broadcast. It seems the video was shot during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls in Amritsar, where Arun Jaitley unsuccessfully contested the election. He had lost that seat to Congress’s Captain Amarinder Singh.
The Aam Aadmi Party has clearly wasted no time in using the opportunity to embarrass the BJP and PM Modi reminding the latter about his comments on intoxication.
AAP’s Preeti Sharma Menon tweeted, “One more lies of @narendramodi! Speech about nashabandi just a few weeks ago and BJP is openly distributing alcohol in Amritsar.”
The BJP has yet to react on the new video, but the issue of drugs and alcohol is set to dominate the election process in Punjab.