Cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu has backed Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Dharamvir Gandhi over the latter’s demand for legalisation of opium cultivation. Speaking to news agency ANI, the Congress leader said that opium had helped his uncle live a long life.
“Dharamvir Gandhi is doing a very good thing, I support him. My uncle used to take opium as a medicine and lived a long life,” said the Punjab minister, backing the AAP MP from Patiala.
Notably, AAP’s Dharamvir Gandhi has taken up the issue of legalisation of opium on several occasions in the last few years. He had also met Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh over the issue last year.
Gandhi had even introduced a private member’s bill in Lok Sabha in 2016, seeking legalisation of “non-synthetic” intoxicants like opium and marijuana. The MP, who has been at loggerheads with his own party, believes that a liberal and scientific approach should be adopted on the issue of legalising opium or marijuana.
In June 2018, some farmers in Mandi Ahmedgarh had launched a movement demanding removal of ban on cultivation of opium and marijuana. Dharamvir Gandhi was also a part of the rally where the demand was made by farmers.