CHENNAI: Chief Minister MK Stalin on Monday said the Opposition AIADMK does not have the moral right to talk about gutkha and drugs issues. Stalin was responding to the allegation of Leader of Opposition Edappadi K Palaniswami that the prevalence of Ganja and Gutkha products in Tamil Nadu, especially among students has increased.
Participating in the debate on the demand for grants for the Home Department in the State Assembly, Palaniswami listed out the number of cases booked and the seizure of ganja and gutkha made during the last year, and said the government should crack down on ganja and save youngsters from addiction.
DGP, minister appeared for CBI probe in gutkha case in ADMK regime
Intervening during the debate, Stalin recalled the controversial episode when he had brought gutkha products to the House to raise the issue during the previous AIADMK tenure and said that about 3.45 lakh kilograms of gutkha and 19,507kgs of ganja were seized in the last year, but 1.76 lakh kilograms of gutkha ad 12,910 kgs of ganja was seized during the AIADMK tenure. “The state DGP and even the minister were subjected to CBI inquiry in the AIADMK regime (in Gutkha case). No officer has gone for such inquiry now. The AIADMK does not have the moral right to talk about Gutkha or drugs. You had lost control (of the issue) and the (incumbent) government is cracking down.”
Ganja, gutkha sales increased in TN: EPS
Citing the special Ganja Vettai 2.0 drive launched by incumbent DGP Sylendra Babu recently, Palaniswami said that ganja peddling from neighbouring states to Tamil Nadu was rampant. “I am not alone in raising the issue. Even PMK leader G K Mani had raised it. Ganja peddling has increased in the last year. Our intention is to stop it. Sale of the substances among school and college students has increased. Peddlers are using WhatsApp to move ganja. Smugglers use cars, trains, and buses and even smuggle to foreign countries, ” Palaniswami added, alleging that cops were supporting drug smuggling.
An unrelenting Stalin said the AIADMK was responsible for the prevailing problem and the previous AIADMK regime had planned to benefit from it instead of cracking down on it. “The case (Gutkha) is pending before the court. The CBI is probing. Once the judgment is delivered, everyone will know the truth, ” the Chief Minister added.
As EPS wondered if narcotics laws did not exist earlier, Stalin sought to know if he does not want the government to arrest the smugglers. Drawing curtains on the issue by advising the government to crackdown at the inter-state border, Palaniswami said that drugs could not be smuggled easily without the support of VIPs and the police. A sarcastic Speaker M Appavu added a touch of humour to the debate by advising the Leader of the Opposition to name the smugglers.