Chandigarh: The war of words between leaders of Punjab’s ruling Shiromani Akali Dal and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) escalated, with Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Wednesday declaring that the state government was “ready to admit AAP MP Bhagwant Mann in any of the rehab and de-addiction centres situated across the state”.
The statement from Badal, who is the President of the Akali Dal, came as a reaction to a demand made by some Lok Sabha MPs on Thursday to Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to send Mann to a rehabilitation centre for alcohol de-addiction.
The Lok Sabha MPs cited instances where the AAP MP has been reported to be under the influence of liquor while attending Parliament.
Badal, who was in his assembly constituency Jalalabad, nearly 300 km from here, said that the Punjab government was ready to help Mann.
The Punjab government, headed by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, is under attack from opposition parties, particularly the AAP leadership, for the rampant drugs menace in the state.
The AAP has openly accused ministers in the Badal government and Akali Dal leaders of patronising the drugs trade in Punjab.
Comedian-turned-politician Mann, who represents the Sangrur Lok Sabha constituency from Punjab, has been in the thick of controversy in the last few days after he was accused of compromising security of Parliament by uploading a video of the entry gates, security system and other details on social media.
Mann, who is an outspoken AAP leader, is facing a probe by a parliamentary panel over this matter.