Mon, 25 Jul 2022 11:03 AM IST
In a bizarre claim, a Chhattisgarh Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA has advised replacing liquor with the use of bhang and cannabis, alleging that people addicted to these substances hardly commit crimes like rape, murder, and dacoity.
The statement made by legislator Dr Krishnamurti Bandhi on Saturday. However, it has triggered a row with the ruling Congress questioning how a public representative can promote addiction.
Speaking about the same, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel said if the MLA wants ganja to be legalised in the country, then he should put forth the demand before the BJP-led central government.
Bandhi, in response to a question about the Congress's poll promise of a liquor ban in Chhattisgarh, told the reporters, "We have earlier raised the issue in the state Assembly and it will again be raised on July 27 as discussion on the no-confidence motion moved by the opposition BJP (against the state government) is scheduled that day."
"It is my personal opinion and once I had discussed it in the Assembly in the past. I had told that somewhere alcohol is the reason for rape, murder, and quarrel, but I asked (in the House) tell me whether a person who consumes bhang has ever committed rape, murder, and dacoity?" he said.
Meanwhile, in order to meet the addiction requirement and to ban liquor, the MLA from Masturi Assembly constituency talked about a committee that has been constituted in the state.
"The committee should think about how we can move ahead towards bhang and ganja (cannabis). If people want addiction, then they should be served such stuff which does not result in murder, rape, and other offences. It is my personal opinion," he said.
However, on being asked about the MLA's comments, CM Baghel on Sunday said addiction in any form is not good.
He also swiped at the BJP legislator, saying if he wants ganja to be legalised in the country, then he should make the demand with the Centre. "...When central agencies are roaming in Mumbai to seize 10 gram ganja, its (BJP) senior leader is saying ganja should be consumed. Ganja is banned and he should first demand its government at the Centre to allow it (if he wants its consumption). See, addiction in any form is not good," the CM told reporters at the airport in Raipur after returning from Delhi.
According to the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, the sale and consumption of cannabis are banned but the use of bhang, an edible mixture made using leaves of the cannabis, is allowed.
(With agency inputs)