Rahul Gandhi on Thursday claimed that seven out of ten youths in Punjab have a drug problem, triggering a controversy with the ruling Akali Dal asking how the Congress leader came to this “mathematical conclusion” on drug addiction in the State.

The AICC general secretary was addressing a rally organised by the National Students Union of India (NSUI) on the Panjab University campus here.

Making a mention of Punjab, Mr. Gandhi said, “What is happening to human resource in Punjab? Seven out of ten youths have the problem of drugs.”

Reacting, Shiromani Akali Dal MP Naresh Gujral said, “I am not a mathematician like Mr. Rahul Gandhi, who, after a flying visit to Punjab, has discovered that seven out of ten children in Punjab are addicted to drugs.”

Mr. Gujral, however, agreed that it was a major problem and that the Centre’s attention had been drawn to it.

He alleged that Pakistan had been pushing drugs into Punjab and it was like a proxy war.

Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal said the Punjab government had no control over the flow of drugs into the State from Pakistan and that the problem was a national one.

Mr. Badal said it was the duty of the BSF which comes under the Central government to check the flow of drugs into the State.

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