Chandigarh, January 12
A Congress MLA from Punjab's Zira on Saturday left his ruling party red-faced when he boycotted a district-level function, saying "no action" was taken against liquor contractors selling illicit alcohol in Ferozepur district.
The Congress on Saturday organised a district-level function in Ferozepur to administer the oath to the newly-elected sarpanches (village heads) and panches.
Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal was the main guest at the oath-taking ceremony.
Congress legislator Kulbir Singh Zira from Zira seat even took a dig at the efforts of the Punjab government in making it a drug-free state, saying it could not be possible unless "black sheep" were roaming free.
"We cannot make the state drug-free until such black sheep are roaming free. I cannot be present on this stage. I was here to express my emotions. Until such people are free, I will not be a part of this function. I boycott this function," Zira announced from the dais.
Sarpanches and panches owing allegiance to Zira also boycotted the ceremony, the MLA said.
He even alleged that a few police officers were in cahoots with some liquor contractors for allowing them to carry out illegal trade in return of money.
"Two years have passed ever since our government has come to power. Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had vowed to wipe out drugs and make Punjab a drug-free state," Zira said in his speech during the ceremony.
"Sarpanches and panches cannot make Punjab a drug-free state and it could also not be done by village panchayats," he said.
His remarks came a day after Amarinder Singh in Patiala had asked newly-elected panches and sarpanches to make their respective villages drug-free.
"Those senior officers who are sitting on the dais and who take monthly (money), they should mend their ways. Then Punjab can be a drug-free state," Zira said.
He claimed that some liquor contractors were selling illicit alcohol in Ferozepur and no action was being taken against them.
He alleged that they even managed to get their names "cancelled" from the FIRs registered against them. - PTI