Punjab assembly polls: EC formulates action plan on drugs

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Chandigarh, Dec 13 (IANS) Though the Punjab government continues to deny that the drugs problem is as widespread as being pointed out by opposition leaders, the Election Commission (EC) has formulated an action plan to deal with the drugs menace and law and order issues facing the state.

“Chief Electoral Officer V.K.Singh has formulated an action plan on law and order, action against the drugs and alcohol with the help of state and national agencies like Punjab Police, SNCB (State Narcotics Control Bureau), NNCB (National Narcotics Control Bureau) to prevent the potential misuse of drugs and other substance for influencing the free exercise of franchise by voters in upcoming general elections for Punjab Legislative Assembly,” a spokesman of the commission said here on Tuesday.

He said that to ensure effective implementation of the action plan at field level, district level committees have been constituted for effective control, monitoring and coordination.

Giving details of the newly constituted committees, the spokesman said that the district level committees would be headed by the Deputy Commissioners of the respective district, and have the Commissioner of Police/Senior Superintendent of Police, representatives from Narcotic Control Bureau and the Income Tax Department, the civil surgeon, and the Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner as members.

“The committee will adopt a two-pronged action as coordination committee for control of misuse of drugs and psychotropic substance, liquor and money, firstly by launching intensive public awareness and behavioural changes communication through SVEEP activities.

“Secondly, by monitoring law enforcement process and while doing that they will also ensure that enforcement is effective and transparent at the same time,” the spokesman said.

The committee will send action taken report regularly, he said.

The EC has already noted that the drugs problem was unique to Punjab and misuse of drugs during elections in the state is known.

Elections to 117-member assembly is likely to be held early next year.

–IANS

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